TAIPEI: Taiwan have decided to freeze the assets of a local businessman suspected of involvement in illegal oil transfers to North Korea.
The 52-year-old man reportedly owns a trading firm in the southern city of Kaohsiung. Officials say they will sanction the man and 4 companies with which he is affiliated. Prosecutors suspect the man used the Hong Kong-flagged ship, Lighthouse Winmore, to transfer refined oil products to a North Korean vessel in international waters. A UN Security Council sanctions resolution strictly bans exports of such products to North Korea. Taiwan is not obliged to implement the sanctions as it is not a member of the United Nations. The move is believed to be in response to calls by the United States and other countries to maximize pressure on Pyongyang. The man reportedly told investigators he has previously sold refined oil products in international waters.