The same news outlet reported last week that US recon satellites had photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October.
A senior South Korean foreign ministry official said the ship, the Lighthouse Winmore, was seized when it arrived at a South Korean port in late November.
The South Korean announcement came just a day after U.S. President Donald Trump had tweeted that he was "very disappointed" that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. "There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"
According to South Korean officials, the Winmore - operating under charter to Taiwan-based Billions Bunker Group - loaded 14,000 tons of petroleum product at the port of Yeosu on October 11.
The Hong Kong government said it was "liaising with the Korean parties concerned to obtain further information about the incident, and will take appropriate actions as necessary".
Like the charterer, the ship manager has denied any wrongdoing.
Ship tracking data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed that the Lighthouse Winmore has mainly been doing supply runs between China and Taiwan since August. In October, when it allegedly transferred petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Lighthouse Winmore had its tracking transponder switched off.
China has tightened restrictions on trade with North Korea under United Nations nuclear sanctions, imposing a cap on oil supplies to the North and banning imports of its steel and other goods.
China, which is part of the UNSC, has agreed to restrict the supply of fuel to North Korea in its effort to stop the country in a bid to curb Pyongyang in its nuclear ambitions.
They follow tightened Security Council penalties in the wake of a ballistic missile test by North Korea on November 29. The precise volume of exports in previous years is information the Chinese government is reluctant to disclose, so it is difficult to judge just how hard the new cap of 4 million barrels per year will hit the North Korean regime.
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