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Chinese Ships Spotted Trading Illegal Oil to North Korean Vessels
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Summary: Satellite images show Chinese ships making illegal oil trades to North Korean vessels several times in the past three months.

Satellite images show Chinese ships meeting with North Korean vessels around 30 times since October in what officials believe are meetings to trade oil. North Korean was placed under crude oil import caps in response to their nuclear missile program.

  
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The U.S. Department of the Treasury released images showing the vessels meeting in the West Sea to illegally trade oil, according to South Korean government sources. The United Nations Security Council barred North Korea in September from importing natural gas and capped their crude oil imports.

The U.S. Treasury placed additional sanctions on North Korea’s Maritime Administration and transport ministry in November. The sanctions also include several North Korean shipping and trading companies and their vessels. All of these sanctions were given in an attempt to prevent the communist regime from growing their nuclear missile capabilities by blocking their transportation networks.

The images identify a North Korean ship known as the Rye Song Gang 1. The ship can be seen “connected to a Chinese vessel.” The Rye Song Gang 1 was included in the November sanctions as part of the Korea Kumbyol Trading Company.

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The connected ships are assumed to be transferring oil offshore to evade sanctions. China has been the main source of oil for the rogue country. They receive some oil from Russia. China has not reported any exports of oil products of diesel or gasoline to North Korea during November or October.

At this point, it is unknown if China provides North Korea with crude oil, but industry experts believe that China supplies the allotted yearly 3.8 million barrels of crude oil to North Korea through an “aging pipeline.”



A North Korean expert at Fudan University in Shanghai, Cai Jian, told Fox News, “This is a natural outcome of the tightening of the various sanctions against North Korea.” They added that the restrictions show China’s position on things. South Korea’s Pusan National University professor Robert Kelly continued, “There is a lot of under-the-radar on the Chinese side. Beijing does not police the border strictly or enforce the sanctions toughly. This could be that.”

A source told South Korean newspaper Chosun that “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “the Chinese government has been completely and strictly enforcing Security Council resolutions.” She pointed out that no country can ensure “not a single breach will happen” so they “are taking a sincere and serious attitude and forceful and effective actions.”

Do you think China knows that they have vessels trading oil with North Korea? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about North Korea’s nuclear missile capabilities, read these articles:

Photo: zerohedge.com



 

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