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Russian cargo ship likely transported N.K.-made weapons and ammunition

Russian cargo ship likely transported N.K.-made weapons and ammunition

Posted June. 10, 2024 08:08,   

Updated June. 10, 2024 08:08


The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on Sunday that a Russian-flagged cargo ship departed from Vostochny Port in the Russian Far East and docked at Rajin Port in northeastern North Korea in April this year. Russia may have transported North Korean-made weapons and ammunition, potentially violating UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea.

Katsuhisa Furukawa, a former member of the UN Security Council's North Korea Sanctions Committee expert panel, analyzed satellite images from the US private satellite service Planet Labs and ship information from the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Satellite photos of Vostochny Port taken on April 2 and 3 showed a vessel resembling the Russian cargo ship 'LADY R' docked at the port. On April 14, a ship that appeared to be the same vessel was observed at Rajin Port in North Korea.

The ship did not activate its Automatic Identification System (AIS) during its voyage between Russia and North Korea. This system, installed for maritime safety, allows tracking of the ship's location, speed, and course. However, these details cannot be confirmed if the device is turned off.

In May 2022, the U.S. government designated the 'LADY R' as the subject of independent sanctions, citing its alleged involvement in transporting weapons. U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety raised suspicions that the ship was headed to Russia after reportedly loading weapons and ammunition from a South African naval base in December 2022. Similarly, for the same reason, the Japanese government also added the Russian company that owns the ship to its sanctions list last month.

도쿄=이상훈특파원 sanghun@donga.com