Japan-North Korea Relations

(February 13, 2018)

February 14, 2018

1. Overview

Before dawn on February 13, 2018, a P-3C aircraft of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Fleet Air Wing 1 P-3C : Kanoya) found that Rye Song Gang 1, North Korean-flagged tanker, was lying alongside Wan Heng 11, Belizean-flagged tanker, on the high sea(around 250 km eastern offshore of Shanghai ) in the East China Sea.

Judging from the fact that the two vessels lay alongside each other with their lights turned on at night, both vessels could have been engaged in some type of activity. Following a comprehensive assessment, the Government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned by UNSCR.

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    Rye Song Gang 1 and Wan Heng 11 lying alongside each other with their lights turned on
    (February 13, 01:30) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
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    Wan Heng 11
    (February 13, 07:40) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
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    Rye Song Gang 1
    (February 13, 08:00) (Source: Ministry of Defense)

2. Japan’s Response

Japan notified the Security Council Committee of this incident and shared information with related countries. Japan also expressed its interest to the Wan Heng 11-related countries.

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