ShippingWatch

Media: North Korean workers used on Danish naval vessel

A Polish shipyard has, according to DR, employed North Korean workers during the construction of a new Danish inspection vessel Lauge Koch, which is being completed at Karstensens Shipyard in Skagen.

The Danish navy's newest inspection vessel, Lauge Koch, which will come into service in December this year, was built partially at a Polish shipyard that employed North Korean workers, reports Danish news DR.

As evident from contracts, receipts, and eye witnesses, the North Koreans participated in the construction of the Danish vessel, according to a documentary aired on DR2.

The total price for vessel Lauge Koch comes to more than DKK 500 million (USD 80 million), and the Danish Defense has hired shipyard Karstensens Skibsværft to build the vessel.

Karstensens opted to have part of the construction done at yard Crist in Poland, where labor is cheaper.

Crist has hired a Polish subcontractor, who used North Korean workers hired through firm Rungrado. State-owned North Korean company Rungrado is currently subject to sanctions, due to factors such as trading illegal missile technology.

"North Korean workers employed abroad represent a main source of hard currency for developing the North Korean nuclear and missile program. It would be disastrous if Danish taxpayers' money have been used for the nuclear and missile program," says South Korea's ambassador to Denmark, Jai-chul Choi, in the DR2 documentary.

Completely scandalous

When presented with DR's documentation, Brigadier General Anders Mærkedahl of the Danish Defense's department for material and procurement tells DR:

"In light of this being a very large shipyard, and seeing as all kinds of parts for this project were made at various places at this yard, we can't really say that none of these North Korean workers have helped bend a plate of cut some piece of metal."

The UN has determined that North Koreans are sent out to at least 40 different countries. Mainly Russia and China as well as African and Middle East countries – but also EU countries, including Poland.

Since Kim Jong-un came to power, the number of North Korean workers abroad has increased, according to the UN. Estimates indicate that North Korea has sent upwards of 100,000 workers abroad. The UN Security Council has on numerous occasions voiced concerns that the large sums earned abroad are being used for North Korea's illegal nuclear program.

Danish Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen (V, Danish Liberal Party) writes in an email to newspaper Information that it would be "completely scandalous" if there have been North Korean forced labor used on the vessel in Poland, reports news agency Ritzau.

However, the minister declines to look further into the matter.

English Edit: Daniel Logan Berg-Munch

North Korean tankers loading oil in Russia

Pacific countries to weed out fake vessels from North Korea

Shipyards confirm talks for giant MSC order

Frontpage right now

Maersk will now be printing spare parts on board its vessels

Maersk and J. Lauritzen are now looking to really crack the 3D market, and with a new project including several prominent players, carriers are starting to print spare parts on board vessels and rigs. The technology is ready for the maritime sector, the partners say.

Simpson Spence Young acquires Bidsted & Co

Simpson Spence Young has acquired Danish dry bulk broker Bidsted & Co. "The world requires more and more these days, and we had to acknowledge that we were unable to match demand on our own," Bidsted's managing director Carsten Munk Jensen tells ShippingWatch.

Swedish shipowners want 400 ships flagged in Sweden by 2027

The much-anticipated tonnage tax scheme could mean that 400 ships join the Swedish flag over the next decade, shows a study performed by the Swedish Shipowners' Association. "We hope that over the coming years these predictions will turn out to be correct," Vice President Pia Berglund tells ShippingWatch.

This week's top stories on ShippingWatch

Navigare Capital Partners, owned by parts of the Mærsk family, is ready to buy more vessels, Simpson Spence Young acquired Danish broker Bidsted & Co., and Norden CEO Jan Rindbo offered insights into his management strategy this past week on ShippingWatch.

Latest Carriers

Related articles

Latest news

Jobs

See all

See all