"In its second ballistic missile test in just five days, North Korea fired a "short-range missile" early Thursday near the western-central city of Kusong toward the Sea of Japan, known locally as the East Sea, where it landed after flying about 261 miles, according to South Korea's military. Twenty minutes later, North Korea reportedly fired a second, similar missile that flew roughly 168 miles in the same direction.
Earlier this week, amid stalled denuclearization-for-peace talks, North Korea ended a 522-day pause on such activities with its first missle launch test since 2017'
"The U.S. has seized a North Korean freighter that was caught shipping coal in violation of U.N. sanctions, the Justice Department revealed Thursday.
The 17,000-ton cargo ship, called the Wise Honest, was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal. The ship's captain was charged with violating Indonesian law, and last July, the U.S. filed an action to seize the ship, according to court papers.
Federal prosecutors said the seizure marks the first time the U.S. has taken possession of a North Korean ship for violating international sanctions.
"This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service," said John Demers, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's National Security Division."
"Our office uncovered North Korea's scheme to export tons of high-grade coal to foreign buyers by concealing the origin of their ship, the Wise Honest," said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. "This scheme not only allowed North Korea to evade sanctions, but the Wise Honest was also used to import heavy machinery to North Korea, helping expand North Korea’s capabilities and continuing the cycle of sanctions evasion."