S Korea, Japan ask China not to export missile launchers to N Korea

SEOUL, June 14: South Korea and Japan have both raised concerns with China over suspected exports of missile launchers from that country to North Korea, South Korean officials said Thursday.
The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said South Korea and Japan have asked China to take care so as to ensure that such exports, which Beijing has denied, do not occur.
On Wednesday, Japanese government officials said records obtained from a foreign cargo ship indicate that vehicles apparently capable of launching missiles were shipped from China to North Korea last August.
That would likely violate UN Security Council resolutions banning member states from exporting to North Korea any materials or equipment that could contribute to its ballistic missile program.
China has denied the allegation, saying it abides by the Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions against North Korea following nuclear tests by Pyongyang in 2006 and 2009.
The vehicles are believed to have carried new ballistic missiles that were in procession in a military parade North Korea staged April 15 in Pyongyang to mark the centennial of the birth of state founder Kim Il Sung.
Following the parade, suspicions arose that the vehicle’s manufacturer is a Chinese firm, according to the Japanese officials.
The records of shipping the vehicles were found from the cargo ship in October when it was searched by the Japan Coast Guard in Osaka Port, they said.
Japan then shared the information with the United States, South Korea and other key UN members.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland on Wednesday said the United States has “raised our concerns with China about allegations that Chinese entities have assisted (North Korea’s) missile program.”
The Japanese officials said that when the US government, after receiving the information from Japan, informally questioned Chinese authorities about the records, they acknowledged the shipment to North Korea but said that the vehicles were for nonmilitary uses. (AGENCIES)

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