The National Assembly's intelligence committee was briefed by the National Intelligence Service this afternoon.
The NIS spoke of its findings on Japan's reported violation of UN Security council sanctions on North Korea, as well as the latest developments in Pyeongyang.
For more, we have our Kim Mok-yeon on the line for us.
Mok-yeon, lets's start with Japan, what did the NIS reveal?
Yes Daeun/Aram, the National Intelligence Service held a closed-door briefing with the National Assembly's intelligence committee. The spy agency said that several foreign-flagged ships suspected of carrying North Korean coal had been detected coming in and out of Japan.
According to Lee Eun-jae, from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, the Togo-flagged Shinning Rich and the Belize-flagged Jin Long, made port calls in Japan recently.
Last year, the Seoul government banned the ships from entering South Korea as they were confirmed to have brought North Korean resources to the South.
The NIS also said that despite its warning that the ships entry is a clear violation of the UN sanctions resolution, Japan is still allowing the entry and not actively taking appropriate measures.
Now Mok-yeon, what did the NIS have to say about their findings on North Korea?
Well first, the National Intelligence Service touched upon the latest Seoul-Pyeongyang-Washington summit, calling it a significant event that boosted stalled denuclearization talks.
It said that North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and first vice minister Choe Son-hui prepared for the trilateral summit, with the help of the Workers' Party's Unification Front Department.
In the upcoming Pyeongyang-Washington talks, the NIS told the committee that preparations for working-level negotiations are ongoing, and that it is likely that U.S. special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and former North Korean ambassador to Vietnam Kim Myong-gil will lead the talks.
Concerning reports that claimed North Korean nuclear negotiator Kim Hyok-chol had been executed as punishment for the failed Hanoi summit, the NIS said Kim appears to be alive.
The NIS also reported that Pyeongyang has been suffering from a sharp drop in trade and a shortage of foreign currency due to the ongoing international sanctions.
It said that Pyeongyang's trade volume dropped to 2.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, which is nearly half of the figure on-year, and that its trade deficit increased by 17.5 percent.
The NIS reportedly added that no unusual movement has been detected at the North's major nuclear facilities.
Back to you guys.