China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says

After Trump criticism China says no illicit oil sales to NKorea
China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says
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29 December, 2017

The U.S. Treasury released the photos showing ships from both nations trading oil illegally in the West Sea.

"There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" the president said, without citing the source of his information.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea" and that such moves would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The satellite images appear to identify the ships. It was reportedly the second consecutive month China didn't export diesel or gasoline to North Korea.

The U.N. resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

Last month, the Treasury Department sanctioned six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their vessels, and published photos of what it said was a North Korean vessel on October 19 possibly transferring oil to evade sanctions.

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Robert Kelly, a professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, told The Telegraph that China trading oil to North Korea could be possible.

On Thursday, China insisted that it was in full compliance with the resolution, as well as the new UN Security Council resolution passed last week, which places even tighter restrictions on North Korea's energy imports.

She added: "If there is solid evidence proving that there is on the Chinese side any violation of the Security Council resolutions, China will surely deal with it in accordance with laws and regulations, and not a single case of violation should get away with it".

It's unknown if China supplies crude oil to the North, but it's believed by industry insiders that China provides the cutoff nation 3.8 million barrels of crude oil each year through an "aging pipeline", Reuters reported. "Beijing does not police the border strictly or enforce the sanctions toughly".

However, the report published by South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo has already been refuted by China's foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on December 27, who stated that Beijing had no information on this issue, emphasizing that the country "completely and strictly" implements United Nations sanctions.


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