Sailing in the dark: North Korean ship reappears after vanishing for 5 years

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Dae Bong 1


According to James Byrne, a researcher at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) who monitors North Korea’s fleet, the vessel has likely been sailing under a falsified AIS profile since it disappeared. “It’s very likely the Dae Bong 1 has been sailing as usual but simply without transmitting on its IMO registered identity,” Byrne said, pointing out that much of the North’s fleet has stopped transmitting their registered identities in recent years. “Doing so allows the Chinese authorities to maintain the fiction that vessels engaged in illicit activities are not visiting their waters, while also making those ships more difficult to track,” he told NK Pro.