Trump accuses China of allowing oil transfers to NK

Trump accuses China of allowing oil transfers to NK

Trump accuses China of allowing oil transfers to NK

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

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.

Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, two senior Western European security sources told Reuters, providing another economic lifeline to Pyongyang.

A Hong Kong-flagged vessel has been seized and inspected by South Korean authorities after secretly transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in worldwide waters in a ship-to-ship transfer prohibited by the United Nations Security Council, government officials said Friday. The sources say that the transfers of fuel violate United Nations sanctions.

Hours after Trump accused China on Thursday of being caught "red handed" selling oil to the North Koreans - in apparent violation of sanctions adopted by the United Nations in September - South Korea released information that appeared to support his claim.

The second source, who also confirmed the illicit activity, told Reuters, "there is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state".

Crew members from the vessel, Lighthouse Winmore, are being questioned about allegedly transferring 600 tons of refined petroleum products in global waters after leaving the South Korean port of Yeosu.

This composite photo of oil transfer between China and North Korea is captured from the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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.

"The actions taken will be reported to the UNSC sanctions committee on North Korea in the future", according to the authorities.

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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. It was not immediately clear whether the Lighthouse Winmore was involved in the transactions shown in the Treasury Department images.

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.

"Absolutely no, this is very risky", Guk told Reuters by telephone.

A Russian shipping source with knowledge of Far Eastern marine practices said North Korean vessels had stopped loading fuel in Russia's Far Eastern ports but that fuel is delivered at sea by tankers using ship-to-ship transfers, or even by fishing vessels.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he had "been soft" on China on trade issues and said he was not happy that China had allowed oil shipments to go into North Korea.

"China blocked six of the proposed vessels", a UN Security Council diplomat said.

China is North Korea's main trading partner and energy supplier.

She said she was not aware if the vessel had docked at the port in other countries but the relevant media reports "did not accord with facts".

Three North Korean ships among the 10 were blacklisted, along with a Panama-registered vessel.

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