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Saturday, September 21, 2019

North Korea News

Tillerson Applauds U.S. Trade Goals, Not Tactics

Rex Tillerson, the former U.S. secretary of state and Exxon Mobil Corp chairman who has clashed with President Donald Trump since leaving the administration, said on Wednesday he supports the president's trade objectives "but may not support the tactical moves."Speaking to a group of energy executives in Houston, Tillerson said he was concerned that pursuing bilateral trade talks around the globe could weaken Washington's network of allies, which he called "that very strong alliance…

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.

Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the annual SOTCG Address in San Pedro, CA (Image: CREDIT USCG)

USCG Commandant Delivers SOTCG Address

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

Richard Greiner (Photo: Moore Stephens)

Moore Stephens: Leaner, Greener Shipping Will Attract Investment in 2019

Accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says shipping will continue to attract investors in 2019 if it fulfills its ESG (environmental, social and governance) responsibilities.In the latest issue of Bottom Line, the Moore Stephens shipping sector newsletter, Richard Greiner, a partner in the firm’s Shipping & Transport team, says, “It has been suggested that the future is very much like the present, only longer. Should that prove to be the case for the shipping industry…

Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard. Photo: JCG

Interview: Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard

As the Japan Coast Guard celebrates its 70th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News offers insights on the current status and future direction of the JCG courtesy of an interview with Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard.*Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Shuichi Iwanami was still Vice Commandant for Operations.Could you please tell us the history and future development of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG)?The JCG, in 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation. When it was founded, the Japanese waters were in an eclipse period.

Photo: Stena Bulk AB

Stena Blue Sky Bags Safety Achievement Award

The award was recently given for the professional seamanship and conduct when Stena Blue Sky effected a rescue operation after spotting a fisherman and recovering him from wreckage between the waters of North Korea and Japan 26th October 2017.“Events of this nature are subject to international laws and for us, acting in accordance with these laws is a matter of course. Nevertheless, it is important that attention is drawn to them – in this case, by the Chamber of Shipping of America.

File Image: CREDIT Hapag Lloyd

White House Escalates China Trade Dispute in hopes for Early Solution: Kemp

The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November.U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly rejected a plan to levy tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of imports from China and ordered aides to prepare a proposal for tariffs at the higher rate of 25 percent.The levies are…

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Tiny Japan Shipping Shares Jump on North Korea Detente Hopes

Shares of small Japanese shippers jumped this week after the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sparked hopes of news business ties with the reclusive country.Japanese retail investors are snatching up shares of the firms that may benefit from a potential thaw between Tokyo and Pyongyang, even though the Japanese government has been a staunch supporter of "maximum pressure" on North Korea.Shares of Rinko Corp, a marine transportation company…

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UN Seeks Traders' Help Enforcing North Korea Sanctions

A U.N. monitoring group wants to enlist the help of the world's biggest oil trading companies to enforce sanctions that cap the amount of crude and related products North Korea can import, the coordinator said.The U.N. Security Council ramped up sanctions last year after North Korea said it had conducted missile tests that put the U.S. mainland in range of its nuclear weapons.Under the restrictions, Pyongyang is limited to importing 4 million barrels of crude and 500,000 barrels…

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Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © zhu defing)

Kemp: Trade Restrictions puts World Economy at Risk

Trade and investment restrictions are proliferating around the world, driven by a combination of security concerns and protectionist pressures. In each instance, policymakers can usually cite a justification of why trade and investment restrictions are necessary. But taken together, a thickening web of restrictions on cross-border transactions is imposing a growing burden on business as well as complicating supply chains. The United States and China have threatened to hit each…

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Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy

Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

© Igor Groshev /Adobe Stock

UN Blacklists Dozens over North Korean Smuggling at Sea

The United Nations Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies on Friday over oil and coal smuggling by North Korea, boosting pressure on Pyongyang as leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts. The council's North Korea sanctions committee acted on a request by the United States, designating 21 shipping companies -- including five based in China -- 15 North Korean ships, 12 non-North Korean ships and a Taiwanese man. The…

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US Targets 28 Vessels in New North Korea Sanctions

The United States targeted North Korea in a new wave of sanctions on Friday directed at one person, 27 companies and 28 vessels, according to a statement on the U.S. Treasury Department's website.   The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced the new measures, which are designed to disrupt North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels and to further isolate Pyongyang.     (Reporting by Doina Chiacu Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Magufuli Bans Registration of Foreign Ships in Tanzania

Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday put a temporary ban on the registration of foreign ships in the country and ordered over 400 vessels to be investigated for allegations of involvement in criminal activity. The ban came after at least five foreign-owned ships flying Tanzania's flag were seized in various parts of the world carrying illegal consignments of weapons and narcotics. The maritime authority in the Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar has in previous years been…

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China's Imports from N.Korea Plummet in December

China's imports from North Korea plunged in December to their lowest level in dollar terms since at least the start of 2014, with trade curbed by U.N. sanctions aimed at persuading Pyongyang to abandon its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Imports from North Korea slumped 81.6 percent year-on-year to $54.34 million, Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping said in a briefing in Beijing on Friday. That's the smallest monthly value since at least January 2014. The administration of U.S.

© yaniv / Adobe Stock

Shipping Confidence Rises to 3.5 Year High -Survey

Shipping confidence held steady at its highest rating in the past three-and-a-half years in the three months to end-November 2017, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The average confidence level expressed by respondents was unchanged at the level of 6.2 out of 10 recorded in the previous survey in August 2017. Confidence on the part of charterers was significantly up, from 4.7 to 7.7, the highest…

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Cyber Threats Prompt Return of Radio for Ship Navigation

The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships' satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology. Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers. About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes.

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US Officials Demand 'More Fair' China Trade Links

U.S.-China economic talks appeared off to a contentious start on Wednesday as senior Trump administration officials demanded a "more fair" China trade relationship while both sides canceled news conferences previously planned to discuss outcomes. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in opening remarks to the annual summer dialogue between Washington and Beijing criticized China's $347 billion trade surplus with the United States. "We must create more balance in our trade by increasing exports of made-in-America goods to China," Ross said at the Treasury Department.

US Sanctions Chinese Shipping Firm over North Korea Ties

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday it was placing financial sanctions on two Chinese nationals and a Chinese shipping company over their ties to North Korea stemming from its nuclear program.   The department said in a statement it was sanctioning Wei Sun for links to the Foreign Trade Bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Hong Ri Li for his links to North Korean banking executive Song-hyok Ri, as well as the Dalian Global Unity Shipping Co Ltd of Dalian, China. (Reporting by Eric Walsh)

Photo: A.P. Moller - Maersk

Global Shipping Feels Fallout from Maersk Cyber Attack

Global shipping is still feeling the effects of a cyber attack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk two days ago, showing the scale of the damage a computer virus can unleash on the technology dependent and inter-connected industry. About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea, with ships and ports acting as the arteries of the global economy. Ports increasingly rely on communications systems to keep operations running smoothly, and any IT glitches can create major disruptions for complex logistic supply chains. The cyber attack was among the biggest-ever disruptions to hit global shipping.

© baiterek_media / Adobe Stock

Mongolia Coal Export Earnings Surge after N.Korea Ban

Mongolia's coal export earnings surged nearly fivefold in the first five months of the year, according to official data, with the country taking advantage of sanctions on North Korea to boost deliveries to China, its major customer. Cash-strapped Mongolia was forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund for support this year following a collapse in foreign investment, declining commodity prices and a downturn in coal demand. But it is now reaping the benefits of a ban on exports from North Korea, which has forced China to find alternative coal suppliers.

North Korea's New Ferry Service Makes First Trip to Russia

A new ferry line between isolated North Korea and its neighbour Russia docked for the first time at the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok on Thursday. The ferry's Russian operators say it is purely a commercial venture, but it coincides with what some academics say is a drive by North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, to build ties with Moscow in case its closest ally China turns its back. Journalists were unable to see passengers disembarking from the ship, the North Korean-flagged Mangyongbong, because Russian officials kept them away from the quayside, citing unspecified security reasons.

Vladivostok, Russia (© vesta48 / Adobe Stock)

North Korea Launches Ferry Service to Russia

North Korea launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday to develop links and boost economic cooperation, the North's state media said, as it faces increasing isolation over its weapons development. Experts have said North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, may be hoping closer ties with Russia would help if China, the North's main economic benefactor, steps up sanctions against it over its weapons programmes, in defiance of U.N. resolutions. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that while Moscow was opposed to any new countries acquiring nuclear weapons…

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China's Steel, Coal Curbs a Double-edged Sword for Imports

China's determination to tackle its choking pollution by cutting steel and coal capacity should be a long-term negative for exporters of iron ore and coal to the world's biggest commodity importer, but the reality is likely to be far more nuanced. "We will make our skies blue again," Premier Li Keqiang told the opening of parliament on Sunday. That's an unequivocal statement that gives political impetus to Beijing's plans to shutter more excess steel and coal capacity. The policy…

UN Security Council Imposes New Sanctions on North Korea

The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Wednesday that aim to cut the Asian country's annual export revenue by more than a quarter in response to Pyongyang's fifth and largest nuclear test in September. The 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution to slash North Korea's biggest export, coal, by about 60 percent with an annual sales cap of $400.9 million or 7.5 million metric tonnes, whichever is lower. The resolution also bans copper, nickel, silver and zinc exports and the sale of statues by Pyongyang. North Korea has been under U.N.