Japan permits ferry from N. Korea to sail

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Japan permits ferry from N. Korea to sail

The Japanese Transport Ministry allowed the North Korean passenger vessel Mangyongbong-92 to depart from Niigata Harbor yesterday, after initially detaining it for safety violations.
The ferry was permitted to leave on condition the crew fix a number of safety problems when it returns to its home port of Wonsan, North Korea.
The ship, carrying 200 passengers, was scheduled to leave early yesterday, but it was detained at Niigata until 7 p.m. after the Transport Ministry announced on Monday it was unsafe to sail.
The ministry said the ship had an insufficient number of fire extinguishers and lacked proper emergency exit signs. A faulty separator for oil and bilge water, however, was repaired in Niigata.
The ferry will be reinspected when it returns to Japan’s northwestern port on Sept. 4.

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