• Kyodo News


Nothing suspicious was found in a North Korean vessel anchored in Myanmar, Foreign Minister Taro Aso said Tuesday in reference to media reports saying the vessel was suspected of carrying military material.

“I know that Myanmar’s government, after conducting inspections, did not find anything particularly suspicious (about the vessel) and supplied it with water from a humanitarian standpoint,” Aso said during a news conference.

According to media reports, the North Korean vessel, which U.S. authorities have been tracking on suspicion of being loaded with missile-related goods, berthed in Myanmar.

Inspections of North Korean vessels have become strict in line with a U.N. Security Council resolution on Pyongyang that includes checks of cargo to and from the country to prevent trade in heavy weapons and nuclear technology.

NHK plan rapped

A private group that runs a radio broadcast service aimed at finding missing Japanese in North Korea criticized a government plan to order NHK to increase coverage of the abduction issue on shortwave radio broadcasts.

“To be honest with you, we’re disturbed,” Kazuhiro Araki, heads of the Investigation Commission on Missing Japanese Probably Related to North Korea, told a news conference Monday in Tokyo.

“We are grateful if it means support for Shiokaze, but nothing has been explained to us,” he said. “It has even been misunderstood that we requested (the government order.”

Shiokaze is the shortwave service the group runs. It was launched in October 2005 to urge North Koreans to provide information on Japanese nationals abducted to the hermit state.

An Internal Affairs and Communications panel is expected to discuss the order on Wednesday.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.