North Korea requests oil to refuel ship carrying Olympic delegation

North Korea has requested extra oil to help refuel a ship carrying members of its Olympic delegation, Seoul's Unifica...

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 1:47 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 1:47 PM

North Korea has requested extra oil to help refuel a ship carrying members of its Olympic delegation, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Wednesday.

The cargo-passenger ferry, the Mangyongbong 92, arrived at South Korea's Mukho port on Tuesday afternoon, carrying 114 members of the country's art troupe, alongside 96 crew members.

The request for oil was submitted to the South after the ship docked, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said during a daily press briefing.

The ship is also intended to act as accommodation for the troupe during their time in the South.

It is not immediately known how much oil was requested or whether fulfillment of the request would be in breach of a UN resolution passed last year intended to limit the import of refined petroleum to North Korea.

The South are reviewing the request and have yet to formally respond, said Baik, who added that any assistance provided to the ship will be carried out in consultation with the international community.

"We will also ensure that the United Nations resolutions and ship-related US sanctions are not in conflict," said Baik.

Sanctions busting

Seoul had earlier granted the ship a temporary exemption from an existing South Korean measure prohibiting North Korean vessels from entering and operating in South Korean waters or ports.

Speaking to CNN, John Delury, Professor of International Studies at Yonsei University, said that it was important to keep the request in context.

"International sanctions are designed to cut off resources to the North's nuclear missile program, not to prevent it from sending a peace party to the South (during the Games)," said Delury.

Sanctions passed by the UN in December last year cut exports of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products to North Korea by a total of 89%. It also banned the export of industrial equipment, machinery, transportation vehicles and industrial metals to North Korea, and required countries currently hosting North Korean migrant workers to repatriate them within 24 months.

Euan Graham, international security director at Australia's Lowy Institute, described the North's request fuel as a "classic tactic."

"I am quite sure they have enough fuel for the return journey. On one level, they are simply shaking the South Koreans down to see what they get," Graham said.

"But making fuel, a strategic commodity covered under sanctions, the point of their request is calculated to put particular pressure on the South, and will obviously attract international attention."

Ultra-politicized games

Speaking in Tokyo Wednesday, US Vice President Mike Pence sought to increase pressure on Pyongyang, warning the US would "continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs once and for all."

Though Pence didn't comment directly on the North's latest request for fuel assistance, he appeared to rule out the possibility of sanction relief, announcing the US would soon seek to impose the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever."

North Korea's participation in the Olympics has become the biggest story from an already politicized games, sparking frustration in South Korea that the country is being forgotten in what should be its international moment, particularly after officials decided to merge the North and South Korean women's hockey teams and march under a unified flag in the Opening Ceremony.

The passengers aboard the Mangyongbong 92 make up only a part of the North's delegation to the Games.

On Wednesday, 280 North Koreans, including four officials, 229 cheerleaders, 26 members of a Taekwondo demonstration team and 21 reporters arrived in the South by land, joining 73 others, including 22 athletes already in the country.

The head of the North's delegation, Kim Yong Nam, is expected to arrive on Friday. Kim, who is the ceremonial head of state, will be accompanied by Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and numerous other high-ranking officials.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 39589

Reported Deaths: 1523
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12703789
Ramsey5013230
Dakota247993
Stearns242919
Anoka2293110
Nobles16726
Olmsted116817
Washington116340
Mower9652
Rice8598
Scott7834
Clay59538
Kandiyohi5821
Blue Earth5102
Wright4925
Carver4171
Todd4022
Lyon3272
Sherburne3275
Freeborn2980
Watonwan2400
Steele2391
Benton2213
St. Louis19816
Nicollet17612
Martin1715
Cottonwood1370
Goodhue1328
Winona13115
Le Sueur1101
Pine1100
Crow Wing10912
Chisago1021
Otter Tail1001
McLeod940
Dodge920
Carlton880
Unassigned8738
Polk842
Chippewa791
Isanti760
Waseca710
Douglas660
Murray660
Itasca6512
Pipestone632
Meeker611
Morrison611
Faribault600
Becker570
Jackson550
Sibley552
Pennington520
Brown372
Renville362
Beltrami350
Wabasha350
Mille Lacs342
Rock310
Fillmore300
Yellow Medicine300
Houston280
Swift231
Norman210
Wilkin213
Redwood200
Cass192
Big Stone170
Grant170
Koochiching171
Roseau170
Aitkin150
Kanabec151
Wadena150
Marshall120
Pope120
Lincoln110
Mahnomen101
Clearwater90
Hubbard80
Lake60
Stevens60
Traverse60
Lac qui Parle40
Red Lake40
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32533

Reported Deaths: 735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6827181
Woodbury326444
Black Hawk235558
Buena Vista172411
Johnson13638
Linn132382
Dallas129829
Marshall106319
Scott88310
Story8194
Dubuque77122
Pottawattamie75812
Wapello71231
Crawford6793
Muscatine67544
Sioux4880
Tama47329
Wright3881
Louisa36313
Jasper32917
Plymouth3275
Warren2971
Dickinson2823
Webster2524
Washington2479
Cerro Gordo2011
Hamilton1921
Boone1571
Clay1421
Allamakee1354
Clarke1343
Mahaska11817
Shelby1170
Clinton1151
Poweshiek1078
Carroll1041
Pocahontas1011
Bremer987
Franklin980
Des Moines942
Emmet910
Henry883
Cedar851
Hardin830
Taylor810
Cherokee791
Monona770
Floyd742
Marion740
Benton691
Guthrie694
Jones650
Osceola640
Sac640
Jefferson620
Iowa611
Buchanan601
Butler602
Humboldt571
Calhoun552
Hancock541
Harrison540
Lee542
Delaware531
Fayette520
Monroe517
Madison492
Lyon470
Clayton463
Mills430
Winneshiek430
Davis421
Palo Alto420
Mitchell410
Grundy400
Howard370
Jackson370
Kossuth370
Union360
Lucas314
Winnebago300
Chickasaw290
Greene290
Cass240
Ida230
Appanoose213
Van Buren210
Keokuk201
Page200
Unassigned200
Worth200
Adair170
Audubon161
Ringgold150
Decatur120
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont80
Rochester
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Mason City
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 65°
Albert Lea
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Austin
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 66°
Storm chance die down as cooler temps move in
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Advice for safely starting school in the fall

Image

Racial Disparities Regarding Food Security

Image

George Floyd's Family Visits Rochester Mural

Image

Sean's 6pm Weather 7/9

Image

Differences between Covid-19 and other illness

Image

Virtual Thursdays Downtown

Image

Tutors needed in Rochester

Image

Discussing evictions with US Sen. Tina Smith

Image

Mask mandate at Mason City city buildings

Image

Preventing Glasses From Fogging Up

Community Events