Mexico says North Korean ship damaged coral reefs

Mexican officials say a North Korean ship damaged nearly an acre (0.4 hectare) of coral reefs when it ran aground off the Gulf coast.

Mexico’s Environment Department said Tuesday the ship Mu Du Bong crushed parts of 250 coral patches, including Elkhorn coral, which is considered an at-risk species in Mexico.

The Mu Du Bong ran aground on reefs outside the Gulf coast port of Tuxpan on July 14. Deep gashes in the coral were revealed after he ship was hauled off the reef.

The reefs are in an area that is off-limits for shipping traffic.

It is unclear whether the government plans to fine the ship’s owner or crew or file charges.

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