China denies improper NK oil supplies after Trump criticism

2014 Alan Dershowitz explains the BDS movement

According to the wire service, "two senior Western European security sources" claim that Russian tankers have transferred fuel cargo at sea to North Korea at least three times over the past few months, an apparent violation of United Nations sanctions.

Asked at a regular briefing whether Chinese ships were illegally providing oil to North Korean ships, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang reiterated that China, including the military, strictly enforced United Nations resolutions.

The sales of oil or oil products from Russian Federation, the world's second biggest oil exporter and a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council, breach UN sanctions, the security sources said.

UNSC Resolution 2375, adopted in September, bans member countries from ship-to-ship transfer of any goods for North Korea.

Heralding the United Nations for imposing the "most impactful sanctions that any country has experienced in a generation", Ms Haley said there were nevertheless "reports of the regime continuing to smuggle coal into neighbouring Asian countries" despite a ban on coal exports, and of North Korea "illegally obtaining refined petroleum" through ship-to-ship transfers.

In a subsequent New York Times interview, Trump explicitly tied his administration's trade policy with China, North Korea's neighbour and lone major ally, to cooperation in resolving the North Korea standoff.

This source said there was no evidence of Russian state involvement in the latest transfers.

Both China and Russian Federation are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and voted to sanction North Korea by shutting off its access to oil. "In reality, the ship in question has, since August, not docked at a Chinese port and there is no record of it entering or leaving a Chinese port", Ms. Hua said.

(2nd LD) S. Korea seizes HK vessel over ship-to-ship oil transfer to N. Korea
China denies improper NK oil supplies after Trump criticism

On Wednesday, when Hua, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, was asked about South Korean claims of a ship-to-ship oil transfer, she turned the tables by claiming news organizations did not have their facts straight. The ship was seized in late November after it came into South Korea's port in Yeosu.

According to documents seen by Reuters this month, the United States had proposed that the UN Security Council blacklist 10 ships for illicit trade with North Korea.

Three of the ships designated were North Korean, while the other was the Panama-registered Billions No. 18.

China's denial came a day after it blocked a U.S. effort at the United Nations to blacklist six ships Washington believes had engaged in illicit trade with North Korea, a UN Security Council diplomat said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the Lighthouse Winmore was involved in the transactions shown in the Treasury images. In October, when it allegedly transferred petroleum products to the North Korean ship, the Lighthouse Winmore had its tracking transponder switched off.

In September, the Security Council put a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products exports to North Korea.

North Korea came under heavy sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council as it accelerated efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program.

The U.S. has repeatedly called China a pivotal player in the effort to convince North Korea to rein in its nuclear program and ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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