South Korea, United States, and Japan to Work with ASEAN Nations to Search for North Korean Ships

David Lee, Jan. 20, 2016, 8:02 a.m.

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan have agreed to provide technology to ASEAN member nations to search North Korean ships on the high seas, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Tuesday. ASEAN officials are meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday to discuss the technology sharing plan, and South Korean and Chinese officials are also to attend.

North Korea engages in trade not only with China but Burma and Thailand, and ports in Vietnam and Malaysia often serve as stop-over points for North Korean ships. South Korea, the U.S. and Japan hope to provide the necessary funding and technology so that those countries can stop materials involved in the production of weapons of mass destruction passing through en route to the North.

Japan is considering tapping into its Overseas Development Assistance funds to buy high-tech scanning equipment for ASEAN countries and supply training personnel. The vice foreign ministers of South Korea, the U.S. and Japan met in Tokyo on Saturday and agreed to create an environment maximizing the effectiveness of sanctions against North Korea. 

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