Friday, 17 April 2015

Safe Return of DPRK's Trading Cargo Ship Mudubong Urged

    Pyongyang, April 17 (KCNA) -- The manager of the Mudubong Shipping Co. Ltd. gave the following answer to the question put by KCNA Thursday in connection with the fact that its cargo ship Mudubong has been interned for nine months in Mexico for an unjustifiable reason:
    Mudubong, a trading cargo ship of our company, was stranded on coral reef off Tuxpan Port of Mexico on July 14, 2014 to be interned by the Mexican authorities for damaging coral reef.
    After the accident we indemnified losses under Mexican rules including relief fund.
    On January 17, 2015 the Mexican authorities sent an official document to us to inform that they would send the ship back to us and notified us that they would deliver a document on lifting the internment of the ship to us, too.
    But the authorities are now not allowing the departure of the ship, claiming they received a request not to let the ship leave until a "decision" is made by the 1718 Committee of the UN Security Council.
    A man who claimed to be a coordinator of experts group of the Committee instructed the internment of the ship upon the authorization of the Committee and spread the false story that the ship belongs to the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. which is allegedly on the list of sanctions in a bid to freeze the sailing of the ship at any cost.
    This is an unreasonable attempt from every aspect.
    Firstly, Mudubong is a legitimate property of the Mudubong Shipping Co. Ltd., an independent corporate body that came into being under the law of the DPRK.
    Our company, as a social cooperative organization that was set up in October 2008 with the money invested by individuals, has a certificate of investor and an agreement on the establishment of the company and a document confirmed by a relevant notary's office.
    As an owner of the ship Mudubong, our company received business license from the Ministry of Land and Maritime Transport of the DPRK and its business license number is 13-203.
    Mudubong has ship registration certificate issued by the Maritime Administration of the DPRK.
    The Mudubong Shipping Co. Ltd. has been registered as the owner of Mudubong and the identification number of the company is 5435991.
    The claim that Mudubong does not belong to our company despite these documents recognized at home and abroad would mean depriving investors of their ownership and ignoring laws of the DPRK and it would be just the intentional negation of the authorized institutions of the DPRK that issued those certificates.
    The claim that Mudubong belongs to the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. is a wanton violation of the sovereignty of the DPRK as it is nothing but a far-fetched assertion to keep the ship under detention for an indefinite period and freeze its sailing in the end.
    Secondly, the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. is a company specializing in the management of trading cargo ships and is an independent corporate body.
    Just like our company the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. also has its own business license concerning ship management, crew management and mediation of ship chartering, etc. issued by the Ministry of Land and Maritime Transport of the DPRK under its law and regulations.
    Ship management offers one or more professional services to ship-owner company at its request irrespective of ownership.
    Lots of ship-owners conclude contracts with management companies and entrust business activities to them in order to satisfactorily meet the requirements of regulations set by the International Maritime Organization on safety of human lives in the sea and on environmental protection and to raise efficiency of ship management that requires professional knowledge such as technical management of ships, hiring of crew, disputes and insurance. Data say approximately 35 percent of world trading cargo ships are managed by ship management companies.
    If ships managed by lots of management companies of the world belong to management companies, ship-owners will burst into side-splitting laughter.
    To persistently insist that Mudubong comes under the possession of the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. which is responsible for the management of the ship would mean either ignorance of international marine transport usage or intentional denial of it.
    Thirdly, the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. is just responsible for those matters that require professional knowledge concerning ship management and operation including management for safety of Mudubong and technical guidance within the framework of contract signed with our company.
    Our company quarterly pays management fee under the management contract signed with this company which in turn offers professional services for Mudubong.
    Mudubong has been supplied with fuel and spare parts under favorable conditions and at reasonable price through this company that has contacts with many business partners in the world and it passed through canals and called at foreign ports at competitive costs with the help of this company and with its arrangement.
    Our company and the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. have equal relations as a client of special service and provider of special service on the basis of payment conditions and neither of them orders nor controls the other party.
    To claim that the Ocean Maritime Management Co. Ltd. possesses and controls Mudubong simply because of the professional services it offers to the ship and touch it gets with foreign dealers for Mudubong at our request would be just a far-fetched assertion based on the way of thinking of the mentally deranged.
    Mudubong has been under internment at Tuxpan Port for nine months and has been denied its departure for three months.
    Its crew and their family members are suffering from unspeakable physical and mental pain due to this abnormal situation.
    Our company has already suffered huge losses. If safe return of Mudubong, legitimate property of our company, is held in check, we are thinking of taking legal measures to have damage and losses indemnified.
    I, in the name of the crew and their family members and in the name of all of us, strongly demand the parties concerned to stop meaningless controversy and the internment of the ship and ensure at once the safe homeward voyage of the peaceable trading cargo ship Mudubong on the principle of impartiality and humanitarianism. -0-

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