Japan navy spots suspected China ship next to NKorea tanker

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Japan’s Foreign Ministry says a Japanese navy surveillance aircraft has spotted a suspected Chinese-flagged ship apparently transferring fuel to a North Korean tanker on the open seas.

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Tuesday’s ministry statement said the two vessels were suspected of engaging in offshore ship-to-ship transfers banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions.

It said Japan has informed the U.N. Security Council of the May 19 sighting of the North Korean-flagged tanker, Ji Song 6, moored alongside the ship carrying a flag believed to be Chinese. Four photos taken by the Maritime Self-Defense Force show the ships alongside each other, connected by a hose.

The U.N. has blacklisted the North Korean tanker.

U.N. sanctions on North Korea limit energy trade and ban offshore transfers of goods to North Korean ships.