PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A tanker in Libya allegedly trying to set sail with a shipment of oil from rebel forces has nothing to do with North Korea and has had its North Korean registration revoked, an official in Pyongyang said Thursday.
Libyan government forces and loyal militia fighters claim a rival militia hoped to load the tanker with oil for export in defiance of central authorities. Because it flew a North Korean flag, that raised questions about whether North Korea was trying to get Libyan oil.
Jon Ki Chol, deputy director-general of North Korea's Maritime Administration, told The Associated Press that although North Korea had provided a flag for the tanker Morning Glory, it canceled registration of the ship after being notified of the incident.
Jon said the ship is operated by a company based in Egypt. He said that since North Korea has canceled its registration, "the ship has nothing to do with us."
North Korea offers its flag to foreign-owned ships in the same way as a number of other countries do.
Jon provided a document he said was the official deletion of the Morning Glory from the Maritime Administration's registry. He also showed email correspondence he said was from IHS Maritime in London, a company that manages shipping information, that purportedly acknowledged the deletion of a vessel from the North Korean registry.
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