The Wan Hai 313, a cargo vessel from which aluminum alloy was seized in Tokyo in August, is seen in Kobe on Nov. 23. (Photo – Asahi Shimbun)
A local company that reportedly attempted to have imported missile-grade materials from North Korea is not a valid company for export/import activities since 2008, according to the Commerce Ministry.
Japanese authorities seized materials suitable for uranium enrichment aboard a cargo vessel docked at Tokyo Port on August 22, 2012, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
The shipment included about 50 metal pipes and 15 high-specification aluminum alloy bars, at least some of them offering the high strength needed in centrifuges for a nuclear weapons program, the report said.
International sources also said the cargo was loaded onto the 17,138-ton Wan Hai 215, a Singapore-registered cargo vessel operated by a Taiwanese shipping company, in Dalian of China on July 27.
On August 9, the cargo was offloaded and placed aboard the 27,800-ton Wan Hai 313 in Shekou, China.
On August 14, the cargo was scheduled to change ships once again in Malaysia and to reach Yangon Port the following day.
The Asahi Shimbun described that the cargo was to be delivered to Soe Ming Htike, a Yangon-based construction company, which the U.S. government believes is a front for Myanmar’s military procurement.
Regarding the allegation, director Zaw Htay of the President’s Office denied that it had nothing to do with Myanmar government but with the company (Soe Ming Htaik Company), quoted Yangon Times Journal as saying last month.
“After checking the company lists of the previous financial years, we found out that the company and export/import licenses of Soe Min Htaik Co have been invalid since 2008. It was also found that the company did not apply for license renewal,” an official from the Commerce Ministry said.
Soe Ming Htaik Company was reported to have imported China-made military trucks and military equipment over the past 20 years, sources close to that company said. CREDIT EMG