North Korea launched a ferry service from port of Rajin to Russian city Vladivostok in attempt to boost economic cooperation and develop the connections with the Russian state. The new service also tries to improve the relations between Russia and North Korea with help of China, against the treat from international trade isolation and US sanctions. The ferry Mangyongbong sailed from North Korean port of Rajin with estimated time of arrival in Port of Vladivostok on May 18 morning. The ferry service is expected to carry up to 200 passengers and 1,000 tonnes of cargo six times a month.
“Mangyongbong’s operation as the Rajin-Vladivostok international tourist liner will make a positive contribution to developing marine transport and economic cooperation and tourism between the two countries”, said the statement of North Korea, published in local media.
The ferry Mangyongbong was in service between the North Korea and Japan before 2006, when Japan suspended its operations in response to North Korean missile test. Latest missile and nuclear tests of the communist country unleashed a wave of threats from Europe and USA, as well as imposing of new sanctions.
The ship Mangyongbong (IMO: 8890580) is a cargo-passenger ferry, built in 1992 with funds from Chongryon, the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan. The vessel has overall length of 126.10 m, moulded beam of 20.50 m and maximum draft of 5.50 m. The ship has deadweight of 2,014 DWT and the gross tonnage is 9,672 GRT.