April 21, 2024

Shady freighter with Sierra Leone flag spotted in key North Korean ports

Valiant’s appearance in DPRK ports may indicate ship’s purchase of or attempt to smuggle fossils or arms, experts say

An obscure Sierra Leone-flagged freighter with a murky past appeared in key North Korean ports in what experts described as a possible attempt to smuggle energy resources or weaponry in violation of U.N. sanctions.

The 1,361-ton Valiant sailed from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on Sept. 28 and reached North Korea’s largest port of Nampho on Sept. 30 and Songnim — a DPRK port upstream of the Taedong River — on Oct. 4, Marine Traffic data shows.

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