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Chinese Ships Spotted Selling Oil to N.Korea

Chinese Ships Spotted Selling Oil to N.Korea”

On Tuesday, the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo claimed U.S. surveillance satellites spotted Chinese vessels engaged in ship-to-ship oil transfers with North Korean ships at sea, citing government sources in Seoul.

North Korea, meanwhile, says Trump's hopes that it will give up its nuclear weapons is a "pipe dream".

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.

Trump said on Twitter Thursday that China had been "Caught RED HANDED", adding he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

The U.N. resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year. That report was picked up by some US media outlets, including Fox News.

Members of the Trump administration have repeatedly vowed to stop North Korea's nuclear program - and have not ruled out a military option that some analysts fear could lead to a nuclear conflict.

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

The UN resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

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.

But China only agreed to target the four North Korean ships, diplomats said, as part of the bid to curb Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.

The Treasury statement came alongside the announcement of a series of sanctions against a range of North Korean entities and individuals. Though he has feted President Xi Jinping in the United States and traveled to China to meet with Xi, he has also openly criticized the country's trade policies and slammed China as having "no impact" on North Korea.



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