Egypt says North Korean oil vessel coming from Libya did not enter Marsa Matrouh waters

A security source from Marsa Matrouh governorate said on Thursday that the North Korean oil tanker that was loaded illegally with crude from the Eastern Libyan port did not enter Matrouh regional waters.

“The Egyptian navy surveyed Egyptian regional waters off Marsa Matrouh coast. No oil vessels were found,” the source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Libyan Culture Minister al-Habib al-Amin had called on Egypt to stop the North Korean vessel if it entered its regional waters. He said that the vessel was located near Marsa Matrouh coast adding that shortage of logistic capabilities hampered stopping the vessel. He also said that the government will work on reoperating the oil ports.

Meanwhile, North Korea denied on Thursday any responsibility for an oil tanker that loaded crude from a Libyan rebel-held port and fled the OPEC member state's attempt to seize it, saying the vessel that carried its flag was operated by an Egyptian firm.

North Korea said the tanker violated its laws, and a contract with the Alexandria-based company by carrying contraband cargo, and it had notified Libya and the International Maritime Organization of severing all association with the ship.


"Therefore, the ship has nothing to do with the DPRK at present and it has no responsibility whatsoever as regards the ship," the North's Maritime Administration said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.


DPRK is short for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The agency said it had temporarily allowed the Egyptian firm Golden East Logistics to use its flag under a six-month contract signed in late February. The firm ignored its demand to leave the rebel-held Libyan port without loading oil, the agency said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm and MENA

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