Korea South-East Power to improve coal verification

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Korea South-East Power to improve coal verification

State-run Korea South-East Power (KOEN) said Tuesday it will strengthen country of origin verification on coal imported from China and Russia to prevent the inflow of North Korean products under forged documents.

KOEN, a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation, has been under fire for importing North Korean coal, which is banned under the UN Security Council sanctions.

Earlier this month, the Korea Customs Service said three entities transshipped the North Korean coal via Russia to trade with the utility company. KOEN said it was not aware of the real origin of the coal at the time of its purchase.

“We will make the utmost efforts to look into all certificates and bills of lading on coal imported from China and Russia, which could come from North Korea,” Lyu Hyang-reol, CEO of KOEN, said during a parliamentary committee meeting. “We will conduct a more thorough verification process in consultation with power generators and the government.”

The customs office’s recent announcement has spurred controversy over whether South Korea is fully implementing UN sanctions toward its northern neighbor amid a mood of rapprochement with Pyongyang.

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