Asahi claimed that according to several GOJ sources, the Trump administration has conveyed to the GOJ a plan to deploy U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats in the Western Pacific to monitor and crack down on illicit ship-to-ship trade involving DPRK tankers and cargo ships. The Abe administration has reportedly welcomed the proposal in the belief that it will put “psychological pressure” on North Korea. The article added that Tokyo and Washington are determined to apply maximum pressure on the DPRK regardless of inter-Korean reconciliation.
In a related development, all national dailies wrote that Prime Minister Abe spoke by phone with his British counterpart May yesterday and asked for London’s cooperation in reining in North Korea’s attempts to evade UN sanctions at sea. The British leader reportedly agreed with Abe on the need to step up the pressure on Pyongyang.