This action comes after an investigation by the US Department of Justice and the sale of the ship in a Southern District of New York Federal Court-directed auction.
The ship was seized firstly by Indonesian authorities for carrying 25,000 tonnes of North Korean coal, a violation of UN Security Council sanctions.
Shortly after, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a warrant to seize it for the same violation, and the ship was brought in May to American Samoa for safekeeping under custody of the US Marshals Service.
The 580-foot bulk carrier M/V Wise Honest has now left American Samoa as US federal judges ordered the ship to be sold, in order to compensate families of two victims of North Korea.
These are namely the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American student who was arrested by North Korean authorities and returned to the US in a vegetative state with severe brain damage and died shortly after.
The second family are the brother and son of the Rev. Dong Shik Kim, who was kidnapped and believed to have been killed by North Korean agents in 2000.
We are pleased this event concluded without incident and to have supported the effort by ensuring the safety of the strategic deepwater port of Pago Pago and the security of the vessel while in U.S. custody,
...said Capt. Arex Avanni, commander, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, and captain of the port.