Japan-North Korea Relations

Suspicion of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods by SAM JONG 2, North Korean-flagged tanker, and MYONG RYU 1

(May 24, 2018)

June 1, 2018
Japanese

1. Overview

In the daytime on May 24, 2018, a JS 'UMIGIRI' (Escort Division12: Kure) of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force found that SAM JONG 2(IMO number:7408873), North Korean-flagged tanker, was lying alongside a tanker of unknown nationality on which “MYONG RYU 1” was indicated, on the high sea (around 250km eastern offshore of Shanghai ) in the East China Sea.

Judging from the fact that the two vessels lay alongside each other and connected hoses, 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.

In March, 2018, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1718 designated SAM JONG 2 as a vessel subject to assets freeze and prohibited from port entry.

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    SAM JONG 2 and MYONG RYU 1 lying alongside each other
    (May 24, 16:00(JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
  • 画像2
    SAM JONG 2 and MYONG RYU 1 lying alongside each other and connecting hoses
    (May 24, 16:00(JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
  • 画像2
    MYONG RYU 1
    (May 24, 17:00(JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
  • 画像2
    SAM JONG 2
    (May 24, 17:20(JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)

2. Japan’s Response

Japan notified the Security Council Committee of this incident and shared information with related countries.