Japan has confirmed a suspected illicit cargo transfer involving a North Korean vessel in the East China Sea.
Tokyo’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that a frigate from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force observed six close-range engagements between a North Korean oil tanker and two unidentified ships in international waters in the East China Sea on May 13th and 14th. Related photos were posted on the ministry’s Web site.
The ministry said the vessels were connected with a hose and are suspected of conducting ship-to-ship transfers that are banned under UN Security Council resolutions.
The ministry said it reported the case to the Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee and shared the information with related countries.
Japan previously disclosed a dozen other suspected ship-to-ship cases involving North Korean vessels.