Tags: North Korea | Russia | Trump Administration | United Nations | sanctions | oil | china

NYT: NKorea Working Secret Oil Market Amid UN Sanctions

Image: NYT: NKorea Working Secret Oil Market Amid UN Sanctions
The Lighthouse Winmore, seen in waters off Yeosu, South Korea on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, was boarded by South Korean authorities who interviewed its crew members for allegedly violating U.N. sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October. (Hyung Min-woo/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 18 January 2018 08:39 PM

North Korea has increasingly turned to illegal clandestine shipments of refined petroleum to subvert trade sanctions that have largely cut off the rogue nation's supply, The New York Times reported Thursday.

According to the Times, the smuggling is not just undermining efforts to thwart North Korea's nuclear arms buildup, but it is also straining relations between the United States and North Korea's two largest trading partners, China and Russia.

But tracing the vessels' ownership and smuggled oil is complicated at best, the Times reported.

For example, the oil tanker Lighthouse Winmore — which offloaded 600 tons of oil to a North Korean vessel in violation of U.N. sanctions last November — had 25 crewmen from China. But other connections to China were more tenuous, and some links were to places where the United States might be just as influential, the Times reported.

The seizure was only made public in late December — after President Donald Trump tweeted China had been "caught red handed" allowing illicit oil delivers to North Korea.

American diplomats later presented Russia and China with the list of 10 ships it claimed had been involved in smuggling, and provided photos and evidence from the ships' electronic monitoring systems — including maps showing the routes of three ships that apparently had illegally delivered North Korean coal to ports in Russia and Vietnam, the Times reported.

The Chinese agreed to blacklist four, but not the Winhouse, the Times reported.

"Russia and China have never been fully committed to North Korean sanctions," one unnamed Security Council diplomat told the Times. "They are trying to do whatever it takes to get away with it rather than a full implementation."

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With its oil supply cut off by United Nations sanctions, North Korea has increasingly turned to illegal clandestine shipments of refined petroleum, according to The New York Times.
sanctions, oil, china, petroleum
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2018-39-18
Thursday, 18 January 2018 08:39 PM
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