Suspicious N. Korea tanker spotted by JCG

Courtesy of the Defense Ministry/Jiji Press

The North Korean tanker Rye Song Gang 1, rear, and the Dominica-registered oil tanker Yuk Tung in the East China Sea

AFPTOKYO (AFP-Jiji) — Japan has reported a suspected sanctions breach to the U.N. Security Council after observing an apparent cargo transfer between a Dominica-registered oil tanker and a North Korean ship, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

A Japanese patrol spotted the tankers alongside each other in the East China Sea on Saturday night, the ministry said in a statement.

“Following a comprehensive analysis, the government strongly suspects they were transferring goods, which is banned by U.N. sanctions,” it said, releasing a photo of the ships.

It identified the North Korean tanker as the Rye Song Gang 1, one of the vessels denied international port access by the Security Council.

The other tanker was named as the Yuk Tung, which has a gross tonnage of 20,200 tons.

The U.N. has blocked a total of eight ships suspected of carrying, or having transported, goods banned under the sanctions on North Korea.

The U.N. has imposed a long series of sanctions on the North aimed at pressuring it to abandon its missile and nuclear programs.

South Korea last month seized two ships suspected of transferring oil products to North Korea.

China has rejected accusations that it helped Pyongyang circumvent sanctions after U.S. President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that Beijing was turning a blind eye to oil transfers to its neighbor.

Russia has denied similar U.S. accusations.Speech

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