China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says

Dec 29, 2017, 01:02
China spotted illegally selling oil to North Korea, report says

That report was picked up by some USA media outlets, including Fox News.

Washington says the full cooperation of China, North Korea's neighbour and main trading partner, is vital to the success of this effort, while warning that all options are on the table, including military ones, in dealing with North Korea.

Mr Trump also posted a video on Twitter comparing his comments on North Korea 18 years ago to those of former US President Bill Clinton 23 years ago.

The UN Security Council last week unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea for a recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, seeking to further limit its access to refined petroleum products and crude oil.

"As North Korea continues to threaten global peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the time.

China's foreign ministry has defended its enforcement of United Nations sanctions against North Korea following reports Chinese ships improperly transferred oil to North Korean vessels at sea.

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The US-drafted resolution bans the supply of almost 75 percent of refined oil products to North Korea, puts a cap on crude deliveries and orders North Korean nationals working overseas to be sent back by the end of 2019.

The UN Security Council on Thursday denied worldwide port access to four North Korean ships suspected of carrying or having transported goods banned by global sanctions targeting Pyongyang, diplomats told AFP.

On Dec. 15, Trump said Russian Federation - another significant trading partner with North Korea - had failed to help, while China had.

The Treasury statement came alongside the announcement of a series of sanctions against a range of North Korean entities and individuals.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was unaware of details relating to the oil products export situation, but said: "As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea".

"China has applied certain import bans and sanctions, but it could and should do more", he wrote in The New York Times.