The Libyan navy moved Monday to stop a North Korean ship from leaving a rebel-held port loaded with oil, as the US accused the separatists of theft and warned any buyers could face sanctions.
Navy ships were deployed to block the “Morning Glory” from leaving port, after Culture Minister Amin al-Habib said Sunday the tanker would be “turned into a pile of metal” if it tried to set sail with its cargo.
The defense ministry has also deployed the air force to “deal with the tanker,” the official Lana news agency reported.
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” over the loading of the “illicitly obtained” oil.
“This action is counter to law and amounts to theft from the Libyan people,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.