In a statement Britain said, it had collected evidence of multiple ships from various countries apparently breaching United Nations sanctions on North Korea which ban the sale of fuel to the country.
HMS Richmond, a British frigate, has been taking part in UN sanctions enforcement operations in the region.
“HMS Richmond’s deployment in the East China Sea identified ships acting in suspected breach of UN sanctions and tracked vessels which had previously not been flagged to the Enforcement Coordination Cell,” said defence minister Ben Wallace in a statement.
Wallace did not disclose details on instances of potential breaches of UN sanctions, but said “multiple ships of various nationalities” had been identified.
North Korea is under international sanctions over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Negotiations aimed at persuading North Korea to give up those weapons in return for lifting sanctions have failed so far. Earlier this month, a U.S.-based research group reported that smugglers suspected of evading UN sanctions on North Korea have turned to create fraudulent identities for sanctioned ships.