SEOUL, July 29 (UPI) -- Four South Korean companies engaged in the shipment of banned North Korean coal to South Korean ports last year, a report said Monday.
A Segye Ilbo report said the South Korean government found the four unspecified companies, including two financial companies, were involved in the illicit entry of a cargo vessel shipping North Korean coal to South Korean ports last year, quoting a government source.
The anonymous government source said the South Korean government will take necessary measures against the local companies before the U.S. government or the U.N. Security Council puts them in the list of sanctioned agencies. The official didn't mention details of allegations.
A U.N. report released on June 27 showed that cargo ships containing North Korea coal arrived at two major South Korean ports in Incheon and Pohang in October, via the Russian port of Kholmsk.
Cargo vessels shipping North Korean coal departed at ports of Wonsan and Chongjin from July to September last year and arrived at the Russian port of Kholsmk. The coal exports were trans-shipped by Panamian and Sierra Leone ships and arrived at South Korean ports in Incheon on Oct. 2 and Pohang on Oct. 11, respectively.
The Sierra Leone vessel Rich Glory, which made a stop in Pohang, contained 5,000 tons of coal worth $325,000, according to the report.
The U.N. investigation found more than 30 cases of exports of coal from North Korean to Southeast Asian countries with fabricated paper documents stating its origins from China and Russia.