Japan accuses Dominican Republic tanker of passing fuel to North Korea

According to Telegraph.co.uk a Japanese patrol plane spotted a Dominican Republic tanker apparently transferring fuel to a North Korean vessel in the East China Sea in violation of UN sanctions.


A Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) aircraft took photographs of the encounter, which took place in waters near Shanghai, Japanese government sources told Kyodo News.

The information has since been passed on to the United States’ government, Japan’s key ally in enforcing a growing list of sanctions against North Korea, Kyodo News reported.

The Japanese government has vowed to take tougher measures to prevent North Korea from circumventing international sanctions.

Taro Kono, the foreign minister, told a news conference: “North Korea is becoming more skilled at escaping sanctions. We will take a co-ordinated response to it internationally.”

The Japanese P-3C aircraft was reportedly engaging in patrol activities at the time of the incident, specifically looking out for the illicit transfer of refined oil at sea by North Korea.

At the request of the US, Japan’s MSDF vessels and aircraft have been conducting patrols in its surrounding waters, in order to clamp down on potential violations of international sanctions.

The North Korean-flagged tanker "Rye Song Gang 1" is pictured on the East China sea in this photo taken on January 20, 2018 and released by Japan's Ministry of Defense. Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout via REUTER

A UN Security Council resolution passed last September currently prohibits ships from any of its member states transferring goods or energy supplies to North Korean vessels at sea.
North Korea has faced a growing list of increasingly tough international sanctions in recent months following a string of missile launches and nuclear tests.
Meanwhile, a top US treasury official also urged officials in Hong Kong on Wednesday to tighten its regulations to minimise the potential violation of sanctions against North Korea.
“Hong Kong, of course, is an international financial hub and at the same time it has company formation and registration rules that we think need to be stronger,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
It came as America increased its economic crackdown on North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme by putting sanctions on nine entities, 16 people and six ships. 
The US Treasury said it imposed sanctions on two China-based trading firms involved in exporting millions of dollars worth of metals and other goods used in North Korea’s weapons industry.
It also imposed sanctions on officials belonging to the Workers Party of Korea who are operating in China, Russia and Georgia’s Abkhazia region and urged those countries to expel the individuals.
Steven Mnuchin,  the treasury secretary, said in a statement: “Treasury continues to systematically target individuals and entities financing the Kim regime and its weapons programs, including officials complicit in North Korean sanctions evasion schemes.”
He said America was targeting individuals in China, Russia and elsewhere and “calling for their expulsion from the territories where they reside.”
“We are sanctioning additional oil, shipping, and trading companies that continue to provide a lifeline to North Korea to fuel this regime’s nuclear ambitions and destabilizing activities,” Mr Mnuchin added.


READ ALSO: North Korea leader’s brother with Dominican Republic link ‘poisoned’: Bloomberg

DominicanToday.com - The oldest half-brother ofNorth Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was murdered in Malaysia on Monday, Bloombergreports citing a South Korean government official.

Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of former leaderKim Jong Il, aged in his mid 40s, "fell out of favor with his father afterhe was caught trying to enter Japan using a fake Dominican Republic passport in 2001."

The outlet reports that the official, whoasked not to be identified, citing government policy, said poison was involvedin his death, but provided no other details.

"Two unidentified women killed Kim JongNam at Kuala Lumpur’s airport with a poison needle before fleeing in a taxi,YTN television station reported, citing a government source. Malaysia’s policedidn’t immediately respond to a request for comment."

"According to Japanese reporter YojiGomi, who wrote a book about him in 2012. Kim Jong Nam had been critical of KimJong Un, reportedly saying in 2012 that he “won’t last long” because of hisyouth and inexperience. The two brothers have different mothers."

Bloomberg adds that news of the murder comestwo days after Kim Jong Un test-fired a ballistic missile as part of efforts todevelop North Korea’s nuclear-weapons capability.

Read more about the two Koreas:


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