China's stance on North Korea influences his trade policy

Katrina Barker
January 3, 2018

North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning.

It allegedly transferred 600 tons of oil, part of what the newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported was a trend of Chinese ships transferring oil 30 times since October.

Trump has sought to rein in North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs this year by crippling its economy, starving its weapons program, and hopefully forcing it to the negotiating table.

Under United Nations Security Council resolution 2375, which was adopted in September, companies or organisations of member states are not permitted to carry out the ship-to-ship transfer of any goods that are bound for North Korea.

In response, the ruling Chinese Communist Party's official organ published a commentary questioning the USA and South Korea's interpretation of the satellite imagery allegedly showing Chinese ships transferring oil to North Korean boats in the Yellow Sea.

Trump may could end up ignoring the reality that changes in trade behavior can take a long time and the fact that the USA still has more options to try to force countries to follow new United Nations rules. The news comes after senior US intelligence officials confirmed that Chinese ships are also selling oil in global waters to the Kim regime.

She urged other countries to sever "all ties" with North Korea, including ceasing trade and expelling North Korean workers.

"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

A second source, who independently confirmed the existence of the Russian ship-to-ship fuel trade with North Korea, said there was no evidence of Russian state involvement in the latest transfers.

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China's stance on North Korea influences his trade policy

Despite being flagged as Hong Kong, the Lighthouse Winmore has actually been chartered by a Taiwanese company called Billion Bunker Group.

The Hong Kong government said it was "liaising with the Korean parties concerned to obtain further information about the incident, and will take appropriate actions as necessary".

The claims appeared Wednesday in the South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo, which cited South Korean government sources saying US reconnaissance captured Chinese ships secretly providing oil to their North Korean counterparts about 30 times since October.

Employees at the office of Lighthouse Ship Management, the ship's registered manager, in the Chinese port city of Guangzhou, declined to comment and said they had no knowledge of the situation.

On Friday, South Korean authorities said they seized a Hong Kong-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil to a North Korean vessel at sea on October 19.

According to the European security sources, the Vityaz conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with the North Korean Flagged Sam Ma 2 tanker in open seas during October.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Lighthouse Winmore was involved in the transactions shown in the Treasury images.

The US-drafted United Nations resolution seeks to ban almost 90 percent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

In September, the Security Council put a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products exports to North Korea.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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