South Korea: Damage to Global Reputation
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
As a member-state, South Korea is expected to adhere to the UN sanctions against North Korea. If South Korean ships are indeed involved in an illicit ship-to-ship transfer with North Korea, they may be criticized by other member-states that comply with the sanctions, especially the US, a strong ally of South Korea.
Lee Ki-Tae, a researcher from the Korea Institute for National Unification, says that the cost being involved in a ship-to-ship transfer with North Korea should be understood and estimated from a perspective of the inter-Pacific politics.
“The competition between the US and China is becoming more intense over time,” Lee said during an interview with Maritime Fairtrade.
“China is becoming more passive on the UN and US sanctions against North Korea and they try to ignore the problem. That’s why allegations of ship-to-ship transfers between China and North Korea are suggested more often (than other countries).”
On the other hand, the US and its traditional allies will try to adhere to the sanctions imposed by the UN, Lee says.