China tightens North Korea trade limits under UN sanctions

Jan 06, 2018, 01:41
China tightens North Korea trade limits under UN sanctions

The seizure and inspection took place in November, but it was reported only after South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper published U.S. reconnaissance photos on Tuesday that were part of a U.S. Treasury Department announcement of sanctions on 20 North Korean vessels and six shipping and trading companies.

"Instead of going to Taiwan, however, the vessel transferred the oil to a North Korean ship, the Sam Jong 2, and three other non-North Korean vessels in global waters, they said". "If they don't help us with North Korea, then I do what I've always said I want to do".

He said: "Oil is going into North Korea".

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper this week quoted South Korean government sources as saying that USA spy satellites had detected Chinese ships transferring oil to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October. The vessel, the Lighthouse Winmore, was seized one month after it allegedly ferried oil, South Korean media report. He tweeted last month that China has been "caught red handed" facilitating oil trade to North Korea.

Citing South Korean officials, the that the Lighthouse Winmore is suspected of transferring 600 tons of refined petroleum to a North Korean vessel on October 19.

China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing all resolutions against North Korea, despite suspicion in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo that loopholes still exist.

Ship tracking data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed that the Lighthouse Winmore has mainly been doing supply runs between China and Taiwan since August.

Like the charterer, the ship manager has denied any wrongdoing.

China a staunch communist ally of North Korea has been repeatedly urged by the global community to abide by the sanctions imposed on North Korea.

Prior to that, it was active between India and the United Arab Emirates.

Also today, the Chinese commerce ministry said that it would reduce exports of crude oil, refined oil products, steel, and other metals to North Korea, effective January 6, in line with the stricter sanctions that the United Nations Security Council passed in a resolution at the end of December.

Previous sanctions banned sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source.

The decision came after the UNSC resolution 2397 to tighten sanctions against North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile launch.

Under the new restrictions, Chinese companies will be allowed to export no more than 4 million barrels of oil and 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products per year.

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