The Philippine coast guard inspected a North Korean cargo ship that arrived at a port northwest of Manila, according to the Associated Press (AP). The check is one of the first since the United Nations imposed further sanctions on the reclusive Asian nation over its nuclear program.
Coast Guard Commander Raul Belesario told the AP Friday that they examined the MV Jin Teng vessel Thursday in Subic Bay, which formerly served as a naval base for the United States. Belesario added that the personnel did not find any suspicious materials.
The commander said the vessel will be subjected to another inspection prior to its sail toward southwestern China's Zhanjiang port, and it will only be permitted to depart if the minor deficiencies spotted by the personnel are corrected, the AP reported. The departure date of the ship remains unclear.
On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council imposed strong sanctions in two decades against North Korea in a bid to undermine the country’s ability to continue its nuclear weapons program. The resolution, which was negotiated for weeks by U.S. and Chinese officials, calls for a ban on trading weapons, inspecting all cargo coming in and out of the country and levying fresh sanctions against certain North Korean individuals.
The latest sanctions come about two months after Pyongyang said it had tested a nuclear weapon at an underground facility in the northeastern part of the country, near the border with China. Previous sanctions have attempted, unsuccessfully, to disable the country’s ability to develop its small nuclear weapons program.
Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his military to be ready to use its nuclear weapons at a "moment's notice," South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Friday citing the North's official Korean Central News Agency. Kim also said that Pyongyang will upgrade its military posture so that it can be ready to tackle preemptive attacks, stressing that the current situation has become "very precarious."