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Japan deploys ships, seaplanes near Korean Peninsula

ANI  |  Tokyo [Japan] 

(MSDF) has deployed its ships and seaplanes in waters near the (NLL) in the in an attempt to thwart North from evading (UN) sanctions.

Following a request from the in December to the Japanese government, MSDF ships have been stationed in the to keep a close watch on foreign ships transferring to North Korea, the Times reported.

A source from the MSDF said, "We are following the standard rules for warning and surveillance activities for the mission.

The main purpose is to monitor ship movements and collect information to share with the The MSDF does not forcibly inspect ships, as it is not authorised to do so unless certain conditions are under the Self-Defense Forces "

But the believes the activities will put more pressure not only on North but also on and Russia, which are allegedly economic enablers of North Korea's weapons development programs.

The MSDF has also sent its ships and surveillance seaplanes as far as the East Sea and the Sea of Japan, for daily patrolling of suspicious ships coming near the

According to local sources, the MSDF takes photographs of the suspicious ships and share them with the US.

However, a senior MSDF has said it is not clear whether the efforts will yield results in foiling smuggling.

"We cannot forcibly investigate ships. They could leave the area and sail to a different location to meet (a North Korean ship) and transfer the items. The activities have significance in tightening the net around North Korea, but the actual effects remain uncertain."

North has become a virtual pariah in the international community after conducting nuclear tests and launching three intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) last year.

The recent development comes days after the two Koreas agreed to hold their military and working-level talks to solve their border tensions and to discuss North Korea's probable participation in the next month's Pyeongchang

The rare talks come amid the increasing tension between the two countries, as earlier seized a Hong Kong-flagged tanker returning after allegedly transferring to North American satellites had reportedly spotted Chinese ships, suspected of selling to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October.

North has become a virtual pariah in the international community since the UN imposed tough sanctions on the country, after conducting nuclear tests and launching three intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) last year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, January 13 2018. 17:10 IST
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