Russian Federation also selling oil to North Korea on the sly
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jan 03, 2018,
Jan 03, 2018, 1:24
China on Friday denied reports it had been illicitly selling oil products to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions, after USA president Donald Trump said he was unhappy that China had allowed oil to reach the isolated nation.
News of the alleged transfers on Thursday led Trump to say that China had been "caught RED HANDED" getting around sanctions on North Korea meant to help curb their nuclear program.
Asked at a regular briefing whether Chinese ships were illegally providing oil to North Korean ships, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang reiterated that China, including the military, strictly enforced United Nations resolutions.
Did a Chinese ship deliver oil to North Korea in defiance of the U.N. Security Council?
The results of the investigation would be reported to the UN Security Council's sanctions committee, foreign ministry officials said.
The ship is reported to have been chartered by Taiwan's Billions Bunker Group and stopped at South Korea to load Japanese oil products. Resolution 2397, adopted just a week earlier allows a country to capture and look into a vessel suspected of engaging in prohibited activities with North Korea.
But instead, it transferred as much as 600 tons to the North Korea-flagged Sam Jong 2 on October 19 in global waters between China and the Korean peninsula, on the order of its charterer, Billions Bunker Group Corp., based in Taiwan, the ministry official said.
As long as there is enough oil to power their limos, heat their residences, and feed the top echelons of North Korean society, Kim will be impervious to sanctions, making war more and more inevitable.
In a subsequent New York Times interview, Trump explicitly tied his administration's trade policy with China, North Korea's neighbour and lone major ally, to cooperation in resolving the North Korea standoff.
North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning.
China is North Korea's main trading partner and energy supplier.
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.
A December report from the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington think tank focused on nuclear nonproliferation, found that a whopping 49 countries have violated UN Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea between March 2014 and September 2017. But motive of the transaction with North Korea is not known, the officials noted.
It was not immediately possible to find contact information for the Taiwanese charter company. He could not clarify whether the Chinese were from the mainland or Hong Kong. North Korea relies on China for almost all of its energy supplies, and China accounts for more than 90 percent of North Korea's total trade volume. In October, when it allegedly transferred petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Lighthouse Winmore had its tracking transponder switched off. Just before Trump ran with the claim on his personal Twitter account, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang immediately denied the USA and South Korea's version of events, saying, "The situation you have mentioned absolutely does not exist".