South Korea: Current Stance

Some South Korean companies have allegedly been involved in illegal ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea. Experts say South Korea may not take active enforcement regarding the problem, as there are other policy priorities to be dealt with first. However, there are serious implications and cost involved for this approach. By Sunny Um, South Korea correspondent, Maritime Fairtrade

Choi Kyong Hui, president of a civic group called South and North Development, says that South Korea might not take immediate action in stopping the country’s ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea.

“It depends on the policy priorities of South Korea,” Choi told Maritime Fairtrade. “This year, South Korea will prioritize the policies regarding COVID-19.”

Lee also says that it will be difficult for South Korea to restrict ship-to-ship transfer activities with North Korea publicly. This is because the country tries to improve inter-Korean relationship.

“South Korea has many problems to solve with North Korea,” Lee said. “Illegal ship-to-ship transfer is just one of them, although the international community takes it seriously.”



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