Japan Informs UNSC of Possible Violation of Anti-Pyongyang Sanctions at Sea
TOKYO (Sputnik) - Japan has given the UN Security Council (UNSC) information about the activity of the North Korean Chon Ma San tanker that allegedly may have violated the sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UNSC, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Taking into account the fact that both vessels remained near each other with their lights switched off, there is a possibility that both tankers were involved in some activity. The Japanese government, guided by a thorough analysis, assumes that they might have transferred goods from one ship to another, which is prohibited by the UNSC resolutions," the statement said.
According to the statement, the same information has also been transmitted to the United States, which had previously requested the Japanese Self-Defense Forces' assistance in monitoring North Korean vessels.
On Saturday, the tanker was detected in the East China Sea by Japanese patrol aircraft that took pictures of the vessel. According to the ministry, the North Korean tanker remained near the Xin Yuan 18 tanker, sailing under the flag of the Maldives.
The UN Security Council has introduced several rounds of sanctions, in response to the North's nuclear and missile tests, with the latest unanimously adopted last December. The sanctions limited North Korea's oil dealings to 4 billion barrels per year and made oil exporters working with the country report on their deliveries to the UN Security Council.
Pyongyang rejects the new sanctions, saying that the country's nuclear weapons are a self-defense deterrence against nuclear threats and blackmail by the US.
Meanwhile, the US revealed last week its decision to impose restrictions on 27 shipping and trading companies, 28 vessels and 1 individual from several countries, including North Korea.
According to Washington, these steps were primarily aimed at blocking the supply of fuel to North Korea, bypassing the sanctions of the UN Security Council.
The US Treasury Department also released a global shipping advisory with information about North Korea's deceptive shipping practices and warned about potential sanctions against those who enable the shipment of goods to or from North Korea.
Japan supported the US decision
to strengthen sanctions, adding that North Korea still did not cease developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
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