One other suspected movement in North Korea’s West Sea was detected as a ship-to-ship transfer. VOA has identified 30 illegal transportations in this area this year, and North Korea continues to violate UN Security Council resolutions in this way. Reporter Ham Ji-ha reports. (Video editing: Lee Sang-do)
This is a satellite photo from ‘Planet Labs’ on the 23rd, taken in the West Sea of North Korea.
At a point about 9.5 km west of Chodo, North Korea, two ships, each measuring 90m and 45m long, can be seen clinging to each other.
This is a typical illegal transshipment situation identified by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea.
VOA analyzed Planet Labs satellite images and captured 29 suspected ship-to-ship transmissions since April.
If this one case is added, the number of confirmed suspected transshipment cases in North Korea’s West Sea will increase to 30 this year alone.
Previously, an expert panel of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea announced in its annual report that North Korea was using a new method of transportation between ships in its territorial waters, not on the high seas.
In particular, reference was made to the ‘Seojosun Bay’ near North Korea’s first island, where suspicious transshipment activity between ships was caught this time, as a new transshipment site.
The panel of experts revealed that ships departing from abroad meet North Korean ships at this point, transit them, and then move unknown types of cargo to Nampo, North Korea, in order to avoid sanctions.
In 2017, as countries noted that North Korea was trading sanctioned items on the high seas, the Security Council first mentioned this issue in Resolution 2375 adopted in September of the same year, which banned North Korea or a ship representing North Korea goods by sea. It was not transferred or taken over.
In particular, as long as prohibited items are not marked separately, if any goods are transported from ship to ship, it is against the decision of the Security Council.
Eric Fenton Bock, coordinator of the United Nations Security Council’s Sanctions Committee panel of experts, recently told VOA that the investigation into the West Sea shipment is ongoing.
Additionally, while transit goods may not be subject to sanctions, he points out that any goods transferred with a North Korean vessel are in violation of sanctions under UN Security Council resolutions.
This is VOA News Hamjiha.