Mysterious North Korean ship visited Taiwan: CNN

Hao Fan 6 suspected of exporting coal from North Korea despite sanctions

Photo from CNN's Facebook page.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A ship targeted by sanctions against North Korea visited at least three harbors in Taiwan, according to maps in a report by CNN.

The Hao Fan 6, a 460-foot freighter officially owned by a Hong Kong-based company, disappeared on October 10 after it was banned from all ports across the world for violating sanctions against North Korea.

While the CNN report does not mention Taiwan, its maps show that the Hao Fan 6 visited the harbors of Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung between January 1, 2014 and November 14, 2017, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported.

The stops in Taiwan were made while the ship was using its Automatic Identification System transponder, which means its itinerary could be tracked, but there are large segments of time when it was switched off, making it impossible to know where exactly the ship was moving.

According to CNN, there are strong suspicions that the Hao Fan 6 transported coal out of North Korea in violation of sanctions declared in March last year. Coal is a major export earner for the communist regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The ship flies the flag of Taiwan’s diplomatic ally St. Kitts and Nevis, but it is officially owned by a company in Hong Kong named as Trendy Sunshine, which as its sole shareholder has a cement trader in the Chinese province of Shandong, CNN says.

After disappearing for about a month, the Hao Fan 6 transponder started sending out signals again, according to which it was going round in circles off the coast of Shanghai, the CNN report concludes.