China Caught Violating UN Sanctions on Oil Exports

Katrina Barker
December 29, 2017

China has consistently said it is fully enforcing all resolutions against North Korea, despite suspicion in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo that loopholes still exist.

Ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas is forbidden in UNSC Resolution 2375 adopted in September, but such violations are almost impossible to detect unless China aggressively cracks down on smuggling. "There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"

President Donald Trump isn't taking a holiday vacation from Twitter.

China has commented on reports alleging that it exports oil to North Korean by saying that Beijing " completely and strictly" implements United Nations trade restrictions recently adopted against Pyongyang.

Despite softening his stance towards Beijing in an effort to secure more assistance on issue areas relating to the Korean Peninsula, Trump has listed China among key threats to the United States and global security in his new national security strategy. China supplies most of North Korea's estimated 10,000 barrels a day of crude oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

It's unclear whether the Chinese military has any role in sanctions enforcement.

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper this week quoted South Korean government sources as saying that spy satellites had detected 30 instances of ship-to-ship transfers to North Korean vessels since October.

Last week, the Security Council unanimously approved tighter sanctions on North Korea, including measures to slash imports of refined petroleum products by nearly 90 percent from January, as well as further restrict shipping and imposing a 24-month deadline for expatriate North Korean workers to be sent home. However, the country's records reportedly showed it exported no oil products to the North during the month of November.

"We urge China to end all economic ties with the DPRK, including tourism, and the provision of any oil or petroleum products, and expel all DPRK workers", he said, using the acronym for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Overhead images appear to show ships from the two countries shackled together for a fuel transfer in the West Sea off China.

China and Russian Federation subsequently asked for more time to consider the proposal.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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