S. Korea might supply N. Korean ferry housing Olympic delegation

통일부 "선례에 따라 만경봉호 지원 예정" 음식•기름 등 지원되나
And to open up the waterways and dock a North Korean ship south of the border,... the South Korean government had to temporarily lift some sanctions on the regime.
Seoul may even go a step further, providing food to the people on the ferry and keeping the vessel topped up with oil and a steady supply of electricity.
Oh Jung-hee reports.
The South Korean government says it might provide some essential support -- like food, fuel and electricity -- to the North Korean ferry while it's docked at Mukho.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, a unification ministry official said... Seoul will follow the precedent of what it did during the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
That's when the same ferry, Mangyongbong 92, made its way to South Korea with cheerleaders onboard.
Experts say this would not violate international sanctions -- as long as the food isn't from America... and the fuel is reported beforehand to the UN Security Council.

"The UN sanctions resolution bans the provision of fuel, but we know that this is for the convenience of the artists and others onboard the ferry. So it would be hard to call this a violation."

There has already been controversy over whether the Mangyongbong 92's entry into the South Korean port violates Seoul's own unilateral sanctions -- the May 24th Measure.
Adopted in 2010 after a North Korean submarine torpedoed and sank the South Korean warship Cheonan,... the measure banned North Korean ships from entering South Korean waters.
Seoul decided to make an exception for the Mangyongbong 92,... implying that it does not plan on lifting the sanctions.
But experts think Pyongyang did have a reason, to some extent, for choosing a ferry this time.

"Maybe the North Korean government wants to see how the South Korean government would respond if they were to change the method of transportation to the Mangyongbong-ho. They believe that the South Korean government wouldn't oppose that even if North Korea changes its method of transportation because they know that South Korean government wanted to continue dialogue with North Korea."

South Korea's unification ministry explained that North Korea has not asked for material support... and that nothing has been decided.
It added that Seoul will closely cooperate with the international community to prevent any friction over perceived sanction violations.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.

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