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Seized N. Korean ship sold, towed from American Samoa

This May 11, 2019, file photo shows the North Korean cargo ship Wise Honest, middle, being towed into port in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The U.S. Coast Guard says a seized North Korean cargo ship, the Wise Honest, suspected of being used to violate international sanctions, has been sold and towed from American Samoa.

FILI SAGAPOLUTELE/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 8, 2019

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — The U.S. Coast Guard says a seized North Korean cargo ship suspected of being used to violate international sanctions has been sold and towed from American Samoa.

The U.S. seized the Wise Honest in May and towed it to the port of Pago Pago in the U.S. territory.

The parents of Otto Warmbier filed a claim for the ship, seeking to collect on a multimillion-dollar judgment awarded in the American college student's death. They say their son was tortured in North Korea after being convicted of trying to steal a propaganda poster.

The Justice Department didn't immediately return an after-hours phone message Tuesday seeking details about the sale.

Before the U.S. seized the vessel, it had been detained by Indonesia in 2018 while transporting a large amount of coal.

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