Japan-North Korea Relations

Suspicion of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods by AN SAN 1, North Korean-flagged tanker, and vessel of unknown nationality

(January 18, 2019)

January 24, 2019
Japanese

1. Overview

In the afternoon on January 18, 2019, a AOE 'OUMI' (Replenishment at Sea Squadron 1: Sasebo) of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force found that AN SAN 1 (IMO number: 7303803), North Korean-flagged tanker, was lying alongside a vessel of unknown nationality on the high seas (around 410km southern 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 United Nations Security Council Resolution.

In March, 2018, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1718 designated AN SAN 1 as a vessel subject to assets freeze and prohibited from port entry.

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    AN SAN 1 and a vessel of unknown nationality lying alongside each other and connecting hoses
    (January 18, 16:35 (JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
  • 画像2
    AN SAN 1 and a vessel of unknown nationality lying alongside each other and connecting hoses
    (January 18, 17:45 (JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)
  • 画像2
    AN SAN 1
    (January 18, 15:20 (JST)) (Source: Ministry of Defense)

2. Japan’s Response

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