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Japan tells U.N. of North Korean tanker suspected of sanctions busting

in ASIA/DEFENCE by

The Maritime Autodifesa Japanese Force has sighted in the East China Sea a possible traffic of banned goods between a North Korean oil tanker and another tanker, in defiance of the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. This is the revelation given to the United Nations countries by the Japanese Foreign Ministry, which expresses its concern. The North Korean oil tanker has also camouflaged his name so as not to be recognized.

Tremors noted at Kusatsu volcano

in ASIA by

After yesterday’s eruption, the Japan Meteorological Agency announced Wednesday that volcanic tremors were observed on the day at Mt. Kusatsushirane in western Gunma Prefecture. The tremors forced the rescue team that was reached into the area for a check around 11.00 am to withdraw. The matter, as well as a danger for the inhabitants of the place, also involves economic damage because February is a high season for tourism and a plunge in the number of visitors now appears inevitable due to the eruption.

Seven more North Korean bodies found on Japanese shore

in ASIA by

The Japanese police recovered seven bodies from a wooden boat on Tuesday, saying that the boat likely came from North Korea. Late last year, the number of North Korean fishing vessels found either on Japanese shores or in waters nearby increased dramatically. The rise in incidents came at the same time that a push by North Korean propaganda for fisherman to meet annual seafood quotas was recorded. According to Japan’s coast guard, it handled 104 cases of suspected North Korean vessels found adrift or aground in 2017.

Saudi Arabia turn to nuclear power

in ENERGY/MIDLE EAST by

In the perspective of diversifying its energy supply, Saudi Arabia turns to nuclear power. The world’s top oil exporter wants nuclear power to eventually enable the kingdom to export more crude rather than burning it to generate electricity. It plans to build 17.6 gigawatts of nuclear capacity by 2032, the equivalent of around 16 reactors, surprisingly making it one of the biggest prospects for an industry struggling after the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan. By the month of April or May, Saudi Arabia plans to prequalify for bidding firms from two to three countries for the first nuclear plans. A joint venture between the Saudi government and the winning developers would be signed in 2019, after the shortlisting by the end of 2018. Commissioning of the first plant, which will have two reactors, is expected in 2027.

Japan deploys ships, seaplanes near Korean Peninsula

in ASIA/DEFENCE/FAR EAST by

Following a request from the U.S. military in December to the Japanese government, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) has deployed its ships and seaplanes in waters near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Korean Peninsula in an attempt to thwart North Korea from evading United Nations (UN) sanctions and to keep a close control on foreign ships transferring oil to North Korea. The MSDF has also sent its ships and surveillance seaplanes as far as the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, for daily patrolling of suspicious ships coming near the Korean peninsula.

L’Algérie a exporté plus de 73.000 tonnes de GNL au Japon en novembre

in AFRICA/ASIA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Algeria exported 73,264 tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan in November 2017, the US news agency Platts reported on Wednesday.The LNG exported by Algeria to Japan represents an increase of 20.7% compared to the same period of the previous year, when 60,714 tons were exported in November 2016. The Algerian LNG arrived in Japan on November 7th at shipboard The Oak Spirit. These volumes place Algeria in eleventh place in the countries from which Japan imported LNG this November, behind the United States (125,171 tons) or Papua New Guinea (188,473 tons). Algeria also remains far behind the leaders of Australia (2.23 million tonnes exported in November) and Malaysia (1.16 million tonnes).In total, Japan imported 6.41 million tonnes of LNG during the month of November 2017, down 15% compared to the same period last year.

 Body found on Japanese island believed to be North Korean man

in ASIA/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Japan’s coastguard found the body of a male and parts of a wooden boat suspected to be from North Korea on the coast of one of Japan’s outlying islands on Saturday, an official said. The coastguard made the discovery around 6.30am on Saturday on Sado island, which is off the coast of Japan’s northwestern prefecture of Niigata, a coastguard official said, declining to give his name. The guard also found a pack of cigarettes written in Korean and other personal belongings with Korean written on them near the body, the official said. Last week, the coastguard rescued three North Korean men on a capsized boat in the Sea of Japan, or East Sea, who said they were fishermen and were later sent home on a North Korean vessel. A North Korean soldier dramatically defected to South Korea last week after being shot and wounded by his country’s military as he dashed across the heavily guarded demilitarised zone between the two countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tells UN that the time for talk is over on North Korea

in ASIA/FAR EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that countries need to unite to enforce sanctions and apply pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes. Japanese Prime Minister said:  “Now is not the time for dialogue. Now is the time to apply pressure”, and said: “We can’t be satisfied that the UN has approved new sanctions against North Korea”. “What’s crucial now is to put sanctions into effect without lapses and that requires close cooperation with China and Russia.” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Whether or not we can put an end to the provocations by North Korea is dependent upon the solidarity of the international community”. In contrast, Japan’s Asian rival China and Russia, have called repeatedly for a return to international diplomacy and talks with North Korea to resolve the crisis over Pyongyang’s weapons programmes.

North Korea threatens to ‘sink’ Japan and reduce US to ‘ashes and darkness’ in response to latest UN sanctions

in ASIA/FAR EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A North Korean state agency threatened to use nuclear weapons to sink Japan, and reduce the US to ashes and darkness for supporting a UN Security Council resolution. The 15-member Security Council voted unanimously for banning North Korea’s textile exports, that are the second largest only to coal and mineral, and capping fuel supplies. The North reiterating threats to destroy the US, Japan and South Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said to respond on North Korea: having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia. Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters: This announcement is extremely provocative and egregious. It is something that markedly heightens regional tension and is absolutely unacceptable. North Korea had already rejected the Security Council resolution, vowing to press ahead with its nuclear and missile programmes. The North accuses the US, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, of planning to invade and regularly threatens to destroy it and its Asian allies.

 

A total oil embargo on North Korea would only lead to war, as it did with imperial Japan

in ASIA/FAR EAST/PRESS RELEASE/REGIONS by

A total oil embargo against North Korea would be likely to provoke the same result as it did with imperial Japan , war with the US and friends. Last week, following a series of missile launches and an underground nuclear test, the US ambassador to the UN declared North Korea to be begging for war. This week, the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously passed a raft of new sanctions, including a universal ban on purchasing North Korean textiles (the country’s second-largest export, after coal) and the cessation of all gas exports to the isolated state. What’s more interesting is what was culled from America original proposal: the use of force, if deemed necessary, to board and inspect ships to enforce these economic sanctions; an asset freeze; a travel ban for Kim Jong-un. China and Russia know that a complete oil cut-off would heighten North Korea’s self-destructive tendencies and hasten its collapse. Sanctions have not worked and now cannot work. North Korea is not going to give up.

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