Trump Warns Against Illicit Chinese Oil Sales to North Korea

Saul Bowman
December 29, 2017

The tweet, which came as Trump was on his golf course in Palm Beach County, comes after outlets in South Korea reported that satellites have spotted Chinese ships transferring oil to North Korean vessels.

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

The U.S. Treasury Department placed six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their ships on sanctions list on November 21, when it published spy satellite images taken on October 19 showing a ship named Ryesonggang 1 connected to a Chinese vessel.

Tensions have flared anew over North Korea's ongoing nuclear and missile programmes, pursued in defiance of years of United Nations resolutions.

China, the main source of North Korea's fuel, did not export any gasoline, jet fuel, diesel or fuel oil to its isolated neighbour last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Tuesday.


"This is a natural outcome of the tightening of the various sanctions against North Korea", Cai Jian, an expert on North Korea at Fudan University in Shanghai, told the news organization. That report was picked up by some USA media outlets, including Fox News. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!

The US-drafted resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4 million barrels a year and commits the Council to further reductions if North Korea were to conduct another nuclear test or launch another ICBM. China has voted in favor of three UN Security Council resolutions strengthening sanctions on the North since the summer.

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

According to South Korean government sources, the satellites have pictured large Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The US Treasury Department later placed six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their vessels on sanctions list.

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

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