11 Jul 2019

American Samoan senator wants answers on North Korean ship

2:03 pm on 11 July 2019

American Samoa Senator Sauletufuga Pita Suiaunoa is concerned at the continued presence of a North Korean freighter, Wise Honest, in the territory.

The North Korean cargo ship, Wise Honest, now anchored just off Utulei village shoreline

Wise Honest Photo: RNZ PACIFIC / Fili Sagapolutele

He is calling on the Senate to raise queries about why the vessel was towed to American Samoa and to point out that it exposes the territory to unwanted danger.

Sauletufuga said no one can predict what North Korea is capable of.

"There may be some movement underwater, not visible to us, and before we know it, it's too late," he warned.

He says, as a matter of priority, the Senate leadership must seek answers from the government on why this ship is in the territory.

When the ship arrived in Pago Pago the government did announce that it had been taken there because of the territory's central, strategic and deep water location.

The US claimed the coal carrier was violating sanctions on North Korea while the North Korean regime has called it an illegal seizure by a gangster country.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs