Japan says another North Korean tanker suspected of STS transfers

North Korean-flagged tanker Chon Ma San, designated a sanction target by the US, was spotted by a Japanese surveillance plane with Maldives-flagged tanker Xin Yuan 18 some 250km east of Shanghai on Saturday February 24th, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said on February 27th.

It was the fourth time in a matter of weeks that Japan has reported a suspected illegal transfer.

“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,” the release said, adding that “following a comprehensive assessment, the government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers” that had been banned by UN Security Council resolutions.