North Korean ships spotted returning to old coal smuggling routes near Vietnam
The most suspicious ship, the Mi Yang 5, was placed on a banned vessels list by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2018
At least 10 ships linked to North Korea have been active at Vietnamese coal ports after the DPRK lifted COVID-19 quarantine measures, including one ship that was banned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The movement of ships suggests that a smuggling route for sanctioned North Korean coal exports may be back in action.
An NK Pro analysis of ship movements reveals that Pyongyang has not forgotten its Vietnamese coal clients and, like its other sea routes, is restarting normal business following an unprecedented recall and quarantine of most of its active fleet in March.
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