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South Korea releases sanctioned Russian vessel after probe

By Wooyoung Lee

SEOUL, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- South Korea has released a Russian vessel, which had been detained at a South Korean port for more than a month, after completing an investigation on the sanctioned ship by the U.S.

"The government has deferred departure of the ship during its investigation related to the North Korea-related designations by the U.S. on Aug 21. Following completion of necessary steps taken, it lifted the deferral," said Seoul's foreign ministry, in a statement.

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The U.S. Treasury earlier announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels, involved in the ship-to-ship transfer of refined petroleum products with North Korea-flagged vessels.

It designated Russian-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon), as well as six Russian-flagged vessels Patriot, Neptun, Bella, Bogatyr, Partizan and Sevastopol, under North Korea-related sanctions.

One of the sanctioned vessel Sevastopol entered a port of Busan on Aug. 13 for repairs, according to the South Korean foreign ministry.

On Monday, Russia's foreign ministry summoned South Korean ambassador in Moscow and demanded that the South Korean government allow the vessel to leave the port, according to Russian news agency Tass.

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