South Korea Seizes Ship Suspected Of Transferring Oil To North Korea
06 January, 2018, 03:35 | Author: Diane Mills
Indications have emerged that China, in one form or another, may have supported the ship-to-ship smuggling of oil to North Korea in October, in violation of United Nations sanctions. The man reportedly told investigators that a Chinese national commissioned multiple transfers of oil products on the high seas.
China supplies nearly all of North Korea's energy resources.
Imports of North Korean food, machinery and some other goods are banned. Oil restrictions have always been seen as the ultimate leverage Beijing possesses over Pyongyang, a leverage China has been reluctant to use despite frequent American requests to do so.
Taiwan's authorities in the city of Kaohsiung launched an inquiry following South Korea's seizure of the Hong Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore, an oil tanker which delivered oil products to a North Korean vessel at sea. President Donald Trump accused China of being caught "red-handed" undermining sanctions, an accusation the Chinese vehemently denied.
It also follows an agreement on Friday by North Korea to hold official talks with the South next week, the first in more than two years amid rising tensions over its nuclear and missile programmes.
In a regular briefing, ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk said the meeting will be led by Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's special representative for the Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs and his Chinese counterpart and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou.
The Foreign Ministry also promised to "deal seriously" with sanctions violators, alluding to the report of Chinese ships trading oil to North Korea.
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