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China on Thursday raised objections to a US request to the Security Council to blacklist ten ships for carrying banned cargo from North Korea, saying it needed more time to examine the measure, diplomats said.
The vessels including two Hong Kong-flagged ships and two North Korean tankers will be barred from entry into ports worldwide if the council approves the request.
After a sanctions committee set a deadline of Thursday for council members to raise objections, China came forward and said it needed more time to study the request.
It will now be considered for approval on December 28.
The request targets the Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker Lighthouse Winmore, the Palau-flagged oil tanker Billions No. 18, the cargo carrier Xin Sheng Hai from Belize and the Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship Kai Xiang.
Two North Korean cargo vessels, Ul Ji Bong 6 and Rung Ra 2 along with two North Korean oil tankers Sam Jong 2 and Rye Song Gang 1 are on the proposed blacklist as are the Chinese tugboat Yu Yuan and the Glory Hope 1 (also known as Orient Shenyu), a Panama-flagged cargo ship.
China’s move to delay the measure came as the United States circulated a new draft sanctions resolution that would further choke off oil supplies to North Korea.
In October, the council slapped a global port ban on four vessels found carrying North Korean coal, seafood and iron ore, which are banned under UN council resolutions.
The Security Council has slapped export bans on coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, restricted joint ventures and blacklisted a number of North Korean companies in response to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear tests.
It has capped oil deliveries to North Korea and the United States has asked China to cut off crude supplies altogether, a move that would deal a crippling blow to North Korea’s economy.
The blacklisting of the 10 vessels is allowed under a provision of a resolution adopted in September that bars ships from carrying goods banned from export from North Korea.