Maritime Security


Latest Developments


This section is intended to heighten awareness and to reveal the detail and complexities of sanctions evasion tactics and violations. It includes recent cases of sanctions violations and punitive measures taken, related to or having links to the maritime space.

  • Illicit Shipments of coal from the DPRK

A report by Royal United Services Institute (RUSI),an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge research. This is Project Sandstone, No. 6 - The Phantom Fleet: North Korea’s Smugglers in Chinese Waters. Using Winward’s vessel tracking platform, together with high-resolution satellite imagery  and Polestar Space Applications AIS data, their investigation reveals that a large fleet of North Korean cargo ships continues to deliver coal to China in contravention of UN resolutions.Available at:

  • Illicit Shipments of sand from the DPRK

A report by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) a Washington, DC-based, non-profit think tank. C4ADS examined North Korean sanctions evasion, tracking foreign vessels sailing from the DPRK to multiple Chinese ports in 2019. These vessels are carrying sand dredged in Haeju Bay area in violation of UN resolutions. Available at:

  • Tanker seized by Cambodia

A Cameroon-registered tanker suspected of conducting illicit ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean vessels in violation of UN resolutions, was seized by Cambodia on 1 March 2020.

Available at:


  • Vessel purchased by North Korea

North Korea purchased the 16,000-ton bulk carrier Vinalines Fortuna from the Vietnam National Shipping Lines in 2018 in violation of UN resolutions. It has been renamed the Tae Pyong. North Korea is prohibited from procuring new or used vessels. Available at: