An article in The Diplomat on 31 July says that the Chinese government has been both lenient on North Korea sanctions and reluctant to tackle illegal fishing by its distant water fleet. It says that a study found more than 900 Chinese vessels fishing in these waters in 2017, and 700 in 2018, said to be roughly one-third of China’s entire distant-water fishing fleet, and that further research has shown similar levels of Chinese fleet activity in 2019. The article says that the evidence is indicative of a larger problem of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other illicit activities, especially by distant water fishing (DWF) fleets, which threaten the long-term sustainability of fisheries resources and the economic, food, and environmental security of coastal countries, and not just North Korea. It says that China is currently the top DWF nation, comprising about 40% of global DWF operations. China continues expanding its DWF fleets across West Africa, South America, and the South China Sea and, while not all of China’s DWF operations are engaged in IUU, these fleets have often been seen fishing illegally in another countries’ EEZ or right up to the line, and have been caught exceeding fish catch quotas.