October 16, 2017 / 2:06 PM / a month ago

Russia reopens ferry route to North Korea

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia has resumed sea trips to isolated North Korea after a two-month break, the RIA news agency reported on Monday quoting the head of the company operating the route.

The vessel, North Korean-flagged Mangyonbong, left the Russian port of Vladivostok for North Korea’s Rajin on Sunday, RIA said citing the company’s director general Vladimir Baranov.

The ferry line, the only one between the two countries, was opened in May to carry passengers, predominantly Chinese tourists, and cargoes.

But it stopped operating in August because the port in Vladivostok refused to provide services to the vessel after the the company failed to pay for them, RIA reported citing a port official.

Baranov said the ferry was carrying only cargoes and no passengers for now though the company was in talks with the port to resume passenger traffic, RIA said.

Pyongyang’s nuclear tests and missile launches have stirred global tensions and prompted several rounds of international sanctions at the U.N. Security Council.

Russia condemns the latest missile tests but opposes U.S.-led efforts to isolate North Korea economically.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a decree imposing restrictions on North Korea in order to comply with a U.N. Security Council resolution introduced in response to Pyongyang’s missile tests in late 2016.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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