Japan says Chinese ship likely transferred fuel to North Korean tanker, violating UN sanctions
Offshore transfers of goods to North Korean ships have been banned by Security Council resolutions
A Japanese navy surveillance aircraft has spotted a suspected Chinese-flagged ship apparently transferring fuel to a North Korean tanker on the open seas, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
A ministry statement said the two vessels were suspected of engaging in offshore ship-to-ship transfers banned under UN Security Council resolutions.
It said Japan has informed the UN Security Council of the May 19 sighting of the North Korean-flagged tanker, Ji Song 6, moored alongside the ship carrying a flag that's believed to be Chinese, in the East China Sea.
Four photos taken by Japan's Maritime Self-Defence Force were released, including two showing the ships alongside each other, connected by a hose.
The UN has blacklisted the North Korean tanker.
The disclosure of the alleged offshore transfer comes as preparations for an expected summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared to be in their final stages.
UN sanctions on the North limit energy trade and ban offshore transfers of goods to North Korean ships as part of international efforts to pressure Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons.
Japan and the U.S. have said the sanctions must be enforced strictly to be effective, and asked China in particular to tighten enforcement.