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Iran Press TV

China to start inspecting North Korean ships

Iran Press TV

Wed Mar 9, 2016 6:21AM

China will start inspecting the North Korean ships that dock at its ports for banned cargo as part of new international sanctions against Pyongyang.

The move, which Beijing would start taking against the vessels as of Thursday, corresponds to its commitments under a raft of sanctions adopted against Pyongyang at the United Nations Security Council earlier in the month, Japanese paper Sankei Shimbun reported on Wednesday.

The sanctions, which were cleared by the Council on March 2, impose trade restrictions on North Korea, require UN member states to inspect all cargoes to and from North Korea, and bar vessels suspected of carrying illegal goods to the country from leaving ports.

Accordingly, North Korean general cargo ship Grand Karo was also barred recently from berthing at the Rizhao port in northeastern China, according to Reuters. The ship is among the 31 vessels blacklisted by China's Ministry of Transport in line with the sanctions regime.

Authorities in China are also more watchful of the remittances the country makes to North Korea as all existing branches of North Korean banks in UN member states are to be closed within 90 days of the imposition of the sanctions.

The sanctions came after seven weeks of intense negotiations between the United States and China, the latter being considered North Korea's main ally.

North Korea had already been the target of hard-hitting UN sanctions over its nuclear tests and missile launches.

Pyongyang declared itself a nuclear power in 2005 and carried out four nuclear weapons tests later – in 2006, 2009, 2013 and 2016. It also launched a long-range rocket last month reportedly aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit. The launch was condemned by some countries as a disguised missile test.

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