Pyongyang, March 12 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Maritime Administration of the DPRK Wednesday gave the following answer to the question raised by KCNA in connection with the recent DPRK-flagged "oil tanker incident" which occurred in Libya:
On March 8 the government of Libya informed the 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 the warring, dispute-torn or natural disaster-affected areas.
Therefore, the ship has nothing to do with the DPRK at present and it has no responsibility whatsoever as regards the ship.
What matters is that some foreign media are making much fuss, deliberately linking the case with the DPRK, claiming that "the north Korean ship tried to purchase oil from Libya in an illegal manner" and "the government force of Libya opened fire on the north Korean flagged oil tanker."
Some forces are misleading the public opinion, persistently linking the issue with the DPRK. This is obviously aimed at achieving a sinister political purpose to tarnish its image.
They should clearly know that with neither false propaganda nor mud-slinging can they damage the image of the dignified DPRK.