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S. Korean Ship Involvement in N. Korea Smuggling Suspected

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan has asked South Korea to investigate the possible involvement of a South Korean tanker in maritime smuggling by North Korea, government sources said Sunday.

A Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel on May 3 spotted a South Korean tanker and a North Korean tanker side by side in international waters in the East China Sea, the sources said.

It has yet to be confirmed whether the two tankers actually transferred goods between them, the sources said, adding that the vessels may have failed to do so.

Transfers of goods to and from North Korea at sea are in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs.

Japan has received no formal reply from South Korea over its request for the investigation, the sources said.

Japan reported four suspected cases of North Korea’s maritime smuggling between January and February. The latest case, if confirmed, is the first involving a South Korean vessel.Speech

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