Photos: North Korean Ship-to-Ship Fuel Transfer

Pictures: North Korean Ship-to-Ship Fuel Transport

The Chon Ma Son with her Markers painted (Japanese Ministry of Defense)

From MarEx 2018-02-27 20:42:00

Japan’s foreign ministry has released evidence of another suspected ship-to-ship transfer between a North Korean product tanker. High seas oil moves to North Korean boats are prohibited under U.N. Security Council economic sanctions on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.  

At midnight Saturday, a Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft found the North Korean product tanker Chon Ma San alongside the Maldivian-flagged product tanker Xin Yuan 18. The boats were found in a known place for sanctions-busting action about 135 nm off Shanghai.  

The day before the alleged move, the U.S. Treasury designated the Chon Ma San because of blacklisted vessel for suspected violations of U.N. Security Council sanctions. Photographs taken by the Japanese patrol aircraft series that her team has painted her identification markers to obscure her own identity (shirt).

The 1982-built Xin Yuan 18 was purchased by Ha Fa Trade International of Hong Kong in November, subsequently reflagged and renamed. Long Line International Ship of Hong Kong because mid-January has managed her. Her last documented AIS place was off Kaohsiung on February 8.  

Long Line’s sole other ship, the 1995-built Prospery [sic], was purchased and renamed a month. In the time of her last received AIS signal she was off Kaohsiung, bound for sea.  

Coast Guard could deploy for boardings

The latest Japanese intercept of a high-seas gas transport comes as U.S. officials say that they’re working on a plan for intercepting North Korean delivery. The proposed operation – initially reported by Reuters – may entail the deployment of U.S. Coast Guard assets to do vessel board, search and seizure (VBSS) responsibility. It may include things like boardings within the 12 nm limit of allies’ territorial waters, an action allowable under the present sanctions regime, or even from international waters, which may be viewed as an act of warfare.

The Trump government was calling for U.N. consent to conduct high-seas boardings and talking the notion with America’s allies   for months. China and Russia, that have permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council, both objective to the plan and could veto a U.S. proposal. According to Reuters’ reportthat the government is currently considering vessel interceptions without additional diplomatic pay, and protection planners are already drafting rules of participation.