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Ships suspected of involvement in smuggling North Korean coal made 25 stops in Japan

Nikkei front-paged a report saying that four cargo ships suspected of illegally transporting North Korean coal have collectively entered Japanese ports at least 25 times since March 2016. The ships, which are registered in Belize, Sierra Leone, and Vanuatu, are alleged to have helped smuggle about 35,000 tons of North Korean coal into South Korea via Russia. The South Korean customs authority cracked down on the operations of the four vessels on Aug. 10. The paper wrote that it is unknown whether the four ships were engaged in smuggling North Korean coal when they stopped in Japan.

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