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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japan, Australia to cooperate over N. Korea’s ship-to-ship transfers

SINGAPORE — Japanese and Australian defense chiefs agreed Saturday to work together to crack down on ship-to-ship smuggling involving North Korean vessels, while confirming the importance of bilateral security cooperation.

 

At the outset of his meeting in Singapore, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told his Australian counterpart Linda Reynolds that Tokyo is willing to expand joint drills with Canberra to bolster defense capacities with each other.

 

Reynolds assumed the position late last month following the general election in May.

 

Illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods are activities believed to be used by North Korea to evade U.N. Security Council sanctions aimed at preventing Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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