Story By: Joseph Emeka
Japan said on Tuesday that it detected what appeared to be a Chinese-flagged ship, 350 kilometers from Shanghai, making illegal transfers to a North Korean’s ship.
“After a thorough evaluation, the government of Japan suspects that they made ship-to-ship transfers prohibited by the UNSCR,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a press release, referring to the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
A Japanese P-3 maritime patrol aircraft detected the vessels, which were next to each other connected by hoses, on May 19, with one of the ships flying what looked like a Chinese flag, he said.
China has repeatedly said that it fully applies US sanctions against North Korea and would punish any Chinese company that infringes them.
Japan’s decision to express its suspicions comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump prepare for what could be a decisive summit next month.
Japan is urging the United States and other countries to adhere to the strict imposition of US sanctions on North Korea until it abandons the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
In April, the United States Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies on North Korean oil and coal smuggling, including five based in China. Ships are subject to a global port ban and must be eliminated.