Night Watch

North Korea-Libya: On 12 March a spokesman for the Maritime Administration of North Korea clarified North Korea's link to the tanker Morning Glory that eluded the Libyans yesterday.

"On 8 March the government of Libya informed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of the fact that the DPRK-flagged oil tanker Morning Glory made an oil contract with an individual armed group in Libya and illegally entered a port under the control of the group in the eastern part of Libya, and urged the DPRK to take a necessary measure for settling it through a formal channel."

"As far as the oil tanker is concerned, it is a ship run by the Golden East Logistics Company in Alexandria, Egypt, and is allowed to temporarily use the DPRK flag for six months in accordance with the contract made by the company with the DPRK at the end of February."

"Right after being informed of the fact by the Libyan side, the DPRK strongly blamed the company side for the violation of the contract and demanded it let the ship leave the port at once without loading oil."

"In addition to it, the DPRK formally notified the Libyan government and the International Maritime Organization that it cancelled and deleted the ship's DPRK registry and invalidated all the certificates as the ship violated the DPRK's law on the registry of ships and the contract that prohibited it from transporting contraband cargo and entering warring, dispute-torn or natural disaster-affected areas."

Comment: The statement confirms that North Korea had a contractual arrangement, meaning it was earning revenue from the Morning Glory's voyages. That does not seem to have been the intent of the statement.

Golden East Logistics is a freight forwarding company based in Alexandria. It was formed in 2005. Its homepage states, "We provide worldwide ship chartrs (sic)."

The Libyans have lost contact with a ship carrying 234,000 barrels of crude. Apparently it is not burning, as reported yesterday.

Afghanistan-Canada: For the record. Canada ended military operations in Afghanistan on Wednesday, after 12 years of deployments. The Canadians formally ended their combat role in southern Afghanistan in July 2011, but maintained a small training contingent in Kabul.

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