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This satellite image purports to show the North Korean freighter Tae Phyong 2 taking on a load of coal at the North Korean port of Nampo on Aug. 8, 2021.
N Korea at crossroads

Missile funding?: North Korea seen smuggling coal to China

Nikkei probe of satellite imagery finds both nations may be violating UN sanctions

Nikkei staff writers | North Korea

TOKYO -- North Korea is likely shipping coal directly to Chinese ports, activity that is banned from international trade under United Nations Security Council sanctions, a Nikkei investigation found.

Nikkei obtained satellite images of a North Korean-registered ship carrying coal, and confirmed that the ship directly went to China by examining data from the vessel's automatic identification system (AIS). It is likely that China -- one of five permanent members of the Security Council -- is involved in smuggling activities and shows that current U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang to prevent it acquiring funds for missile development are not being fully implemented.

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