Ship Seen Likely Supplying North Korean Vessel

Saturday, August 4, 2018

NAM SAN 8 connected to unknown vessel

Tokyo - ( PanOrient News) The Japanese government says that a North Korean tanker was spotted alongside a ship displaying what looked like a Chinese flag, presumably engaged in an illegal cargo transfer, at midnight on July 31.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the ships were found by a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force supply vessel around 400 kilometers southeast of Shanghai and that they were connected by hoses.

Japan notified the U.N. Security Council Committee and related countries, including China, about the incident, although the identity of the second vessel was unknown.


“The Government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR,” reported the Foreign Ministry, referring to the U.N. Security Council resolution banning ship-to-ship cargo transfers to North Korean ships.

Japan has reported a number of similar cases involving North Korean vessels this year, including two others since the June 12 U.S.-North Korea summit. The U.S. believes these transfers indicate that North Korea is struggling under U.N. sanctions imposed last year, which aim to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear missile program.

The Japanese government views North Korean nuclear and missile development as a grave threat, stating on the Foreign Ministry website that “it is not an exaggeration to state that the security situation surrounding Japan has become most severe since the end of World War II” and that Japan must work with the international community to tackle ship-to-ship transfers.

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