A bulk carrier vessel accused by the UN of smuggling coal from North Korea in violation of UN economic sanctions was reportedly hanging out off the coast of Singapore as US President Donald Trump prepared for his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The 25,000-ton ship Jia Feng carries the flag of Togo and was accused in March by the UN’s Panel of Experts of having picked up coal at the North Korean port in Namp’o and taking it to Malaysia in 2017. Later in 2017, the ship was also accused of having made a delivery to Vietnam when it turned off its automated location indicator.
Leo Byrne, the director of data and analytics at the Korea Risk Group, told Defense One that the ship passed by Singapore on its way to Malaysia during the summit and was recently secured off the east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, northwest of Singapore. Korea Risk Group is a private firm that consults with clients on matters related to North Korea and runs the website NK News.
“Despite the [Panel of Experts] investigations, the Togolese-flagged bulk carrier has so far dodged both UN and US sanctions, while the Malaysian government declined to comment on its continuing visits to the southeast Asian nation,” Byrne said.