After serious drops in trade, North Korean ship activity surges near China
At least five DPRK-flagged ships not seen since 2017 reappeared near the Shandong Peninsula
North Korean ships roved through the Yellow Sea and East Sea throughout late March, signaling a continued pickup in activity after trade appeared to take a serious hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
At least 18 North Korea-linked vessels were detected between March 13 and March 29, according to Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. Five ships returned to the ship-tracking system after nearly four years of absence.
The number of North Korean ships giving off AIS signals first started to increase in February, and many DPRK-flagged ships started lingering at Chinese commercial ports around that same time
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