UK, Australia Join Hunt for Illegal Bunkering of North Korean Ships

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday February 10, 2023

British and Australian forces have been assisting in the international effort to monitor sanctions-breaching ship-to-ship fuel transfers with North Korean vessels since the start of this year.

Australian aircraft will be carrying out monitoring and surveillance activities against the transfers from the Kadena Air Base in Japan from early February to early March, Japan's foreign ministry said in a statement on its website this week.

Meanwhile the HMS Spey of the UK's Royal Navy was deployed for similar surveillance operations in waters surrounding Japan, including the East China Sea, from early January, the ministry said.

"Japan welcomes these activities from the viewpoint of ensuring effective implementation of the relevant UNSCRs while maintaining the solidarity of the international community for the realization of North Korea's dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner," the ministry said in the statement.

"The Japan Coast Guard and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force are also conducting information gathering activities for vessels suspected to be in violation of the UNSCRs, and Japan will work closely with related countries."