Trump says China 'caught' shipping oil to North Korea

29 December, 2017, 01:13 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
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President Trump slammed China on Thursday over the country's reported illegal oil sales to North Korea, saying they've been caught "RED HANDED" and warning such incidents could diminish the odds of a "friendly solution" for Pyongyang.

While Russia exports some oil to North Korea, China is the main source of oil for the rogue nation, according to Reuters. Abe, who moved quickly after the election of Donald Trump to keep the mercurial US president close, said that "strengthening the Japan-US alliance is vital" to ensure regional stability.

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South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper this week quoted South Korean government sources as saying that spy satellites had detected 30 instances of ship-to-ship transfers to North Korean vessels since October.

Pronouncing himself "very disappointed", Trump in effect was acknowledging the failure of his monthslong effort to convince China to clamp down further on energy shipments going to the isolated country, which relies heavily on Beijing, as a way to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

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The U.S. Treasury in November also sanctioned North Korea's Maritime Administration and its transport ministry, in addition to six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their vessels, in an effort to block the rogue regime's transportation networks. Last week, the U.N. Security Council imposed new caps on trade with North Korea, including limiting oil product shipments to just 500,000 barrels a year.

China earlier on Thursday denied there had been United Nations sanction-breaking oil sales by Chinese ships to North Korea.

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The department noted that the two ships appeared to be illegally trading in oil from ship to ship to bypass sanctions.

The satellite pictures even show the names of the ships.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was unaware of details relating to the oil products export situation, but said: "As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea".

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