NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) -- In response to attempts by a North Korean firm to evade a United Nations arms embargo on Pyongyang, the U.N. Security Council announced a global asset freeze on Ocean Maritime Management on Monday.
According to the U.N.'s North Korea sanctions committee, the North Korean shipping company "played a key role in arranging the shipment of the concealed cargo of arms."
On July 15, 2013, one of the company's vessels, the Chong Chon Gang, was stopped en route from Cuba to North Korea. A search of the vessel revealed a cache of arms, including two Soviet-era MiG-21 fighter aircraft.
Cuba maintained the weapons were "obsolete" while North Korea claimed they were being shipped for repair and were supposed to be returned to Cuba.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power denounced Cuba and North Korea's explanations as a "cynical, outrageous and illegal attempt" to evade U.N. sanctions.
Power welcomed the U.N. Security Council's decision to blacklist the North Korean shipping company.
"With today's welcome imposition of a global asset freeze on Ocean Maritime Management (OMM), the North Korean firm that operated the vessel, its fleet of shipping vessels will no longer be able to operate internationally. The designation of OMM sends an important message to the companies directly involved in violations of UN sanctions regimes: we will find you and hold you accountable."