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Report: Sanctioned North Korea petroleum tanker seen in Chinese waters

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korean oil tankers that are under international sanctions have been seen near China’s coastal islands. Image courtesy of Google Maps
North Korean oil tankers that are under international sanctions have been seen near China’s coastal islands. Image courtesy of Google Maps

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- North Korean oil tankers that are under international sanctions have been seen near China's coastal islands.

North Korean petroleum tanker Ansan 1 was seen on Thursday at 3 a.m., local time, in an area between China's Zhoushan and Nanyuanshan Islands, Voice of America reported Thursday, citing data from Marine Traffic.

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The tanker was found near an area about 1.5 miles from Nanyuanshan Island, which is within a 12-mile area recognized as Chinese territorial waters, according to the report.

Satellite images from Planet Labs taken July 31 separately confirmed the Ansan 1 had entered Chinese waters. A boat with a white cabin and a red cargo area was seen in the same spot as the data from Marine Traffic.

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The Baek Ma Ho, a North Korean oil tanker, was seen in an area 5 miles from Jiming Island near the city of Weihai, in China's Shandong Province.

The Baek Ma Ho was located on July 22 and disappeared after July 30. The vessel may have docked at a Chinese harbor or moved to another area, according to VOA.

The Ansan 1, under United Nations Security Council sanctions, was seen receiving a ship-to-ship transfer of oil in late January.

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As engagement continues between North Korea and the United States, U.S. President Donald Trump is criticizing China.

At a campaign rally in Tampa this week, Trump suggested China is obstructing nuclear talks with North Korea, Bloomberg reported.

"We are doing well in North Korea, although I happen to think that we're doing so well with China that China maybe is getting in our way," Trump said.

RELATED Transferred Korean War remains may take years to analyze

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