SEOUL, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The South Korean government announced it will ban cargo vessels used to carry North Korean coal at any port in the country.
"The four cargo ships (Sky Angel, Rich Glory, Shinning Rich and Jin Long), used to smuggle prohibited (North Korean) items after the adoption of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 2371, are not allowed to enter the country," said Seoul's foreign ministry.
Exports of North Korean coal, iron ore and other resources are banned under the resolution, adopted a year ago.
The four vessels had been used to transport North Korean coal and iron ore worth $6 million via Russia to South Korean ports seven times from April to October last year, according to an investigation by South Korea's Customs Service.
"We discovered that 35,000 tons of North Korean coal and iron ore had been transshipped via Russia to South Korea for a total of seven times," the customs office said on Friday.
The local companies involved in transferring shipments have been referred to South Korean authorities.
The foreign ministry said it plans to report findings of the investigation to the committee on North Korean sanctions under U.N. Security Council. It also said Seoul has been in close cooperation with the U.S. and will continue to share findings of the investigation.