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Maldives denies Japan’s allegation its vessel breached N. Korean sanctions

The Maldives on Wednesday denied Japan’s Foreign Ministry statement that said a Maldives-flagged vessel was used to illegally transfer goods from a North Korean-flagged tanker in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. Tokyo’s statement said the ‘Chon Ma San,’ designated by the US as a sanctions target, was spotted by a surveillance plane with the Maldivian-flagged tanker ‘Xin Yuan 18’ some 250km east of Shanghai on Saturday. The Maldives government denied that ‘Xin Yuan 18’ is of Maldivian origin and said “no such vessel is registered in the country,” Reuters said. The government said it condemns “the use of our national flag in a manner so as to tarnish the good standing and reputation of our nation.”