- Title: North Korea launches ferry service to Russia's far east
- Date: 18th May 2017
- Summary: VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA (MAY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NORTH KOREAN FERRY IN PORT PARKING LOT NEAR PORT, FERRY SEEN IN DISTANCE (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) INVESTSTROITREST COMPANY DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MIKHAIL KHMEL, SAYING: "We have not come across any difficulties, any pressure. This is ordinary economic and civil project. It secures sea communication between peoples. We do not see any violations here on our part. We do not violate any U.N. sanctions - we transport people. We create better communication between people, between China, North Korea and Russia. I think it is good. And let politicians decide how it will develop further. I think everything will be fine." PORT HALL (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) INVESTSTROITREST COMPANY DEPUTY DIRECTOR, MIKHAIL KHMEL, SAYING: "(ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON WHETHER THERE HAVE BEEN REQUESTS FOR GOODS TRANSPORTATION) From the North Korea not yet. (ASKED OFF CAMERA: AND FROM THE RUSSIAN SIDE?) Yes, from Russia there are some. (ASKED OFF CAMERA: AND WHAT CAN BE TRANSPORTED FROM NORTH KOREA INTO RUSSIA?) What we can bring in (Russia)? We can bring clothes, furniture, seafood." SIGN READING (Russian): 'SEA STATION' (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE TOURIST COMPANY EMPLOYEE, WANG LI, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "Probably we will set up a tent on the deck in summer (PAUSES FOR TRANSLATION) in order to put Chinese, North Korean and Russian souvenirs on display." PORT ENTRANCE LOADED CARRIAGES IN PORT SEAGULLS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE NEAR ENTRANCE
- Embargoed: 1st June 2017 11:21
- Keywords: Sea of Japan China ferry North Korea port Vladivostok Russia
- Location: VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA
- City: VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016HD6WQV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The first ferry which sailed from North Korea's port of Rajin to the Russian Far East arrived in the port of Vladivostok on Thursday (May 18).
North Korea launched a ferry service to the Russian city of Vladivostok on Wednesday (May 17) to develop links and boost economic cooperation, the North's state media said, as it faces increasing isolation over its weapons development.
Experts have said North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, may be hoping closer ties with Russia would help if China, the North's main economic benefactor, steps up sanctions against it over its weapons programmes, in defiance of U.N. resolutions.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that while Moscow was opposed to any new countries acquiring nuclear weapons, the world should talk to North Korea rather than threaten it.
The ferry, the Mangyongbong, set sail from the North Korean port of Rajin with a group of Chinese tourist operators on board, who tested the future cruise on themselves.
Mikhail Khmel a deputy director of Investstroitrest the company which purchased the ferry from North Korea said he sees no violations of the international sanctions in launching ferry connection.
The Mangyongbong was in service between the North and Japan before Japan suspended its operations in 2006 after a North Korean missile test.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday that landed in the sea near Russia.
The United States has been discussing possible new U.N. sanctions with China, which disapproves of the North's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them.
Russia, especially the port of Vladivostok, is home to one of the largest overseas communities of North Koreans in the world, and they send home many thousands of dollars in much-needed hard currency each month.
The ferry service is expected to carry up to 200 passengers six times a month between North Korea and Vladivostok.
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