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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Russia Selling Oil To North Korea In Violation Of UN Sanctions, Says Report

Russia Selling Oil To North Korea In Violation Of UN Sanctions, Says Report

Russia, a member of the United Nations Security Council has allegedly violated a UN Security Council resolution on North Korea by allegedly transferring oil products to the Asian country through its vessels out at sea on several occasions, a published report has revealed.

The UN Security Council sanction had barred North Korea from importing natural gas and had also capped its crude oil imports in September, according to two senior Western European security sources.

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The news follows President Donald Trump’s criticism of China this week regarding a South Korean report that Chinese ships have illegally supplied oil to North Korean ships at sea dozens of times since October. China denied the reports Friday.

Russian ships conducted ship-to-ship transfers at least three times during October and November, the Reuters report said. In September, there were reports of a number of North Korean ships fueled up directly from Russia and sailed the product back to their country by lying about where the cargo would be delivered.

“Russian vessels have made ship-to-ship transfers of petrochemicals to North Korean vessels on several occasions this year in breach of sanctions,” the first security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

The second source, who also confirmed the illicit activity, said, “there is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state.”

Both sources referred to naval intelligence and satellite imagery to back up their claims of Russian ships aiding in North Korea’s efforts to secure oil and fuel despite an international crackdown to cut off Pyongyang in hopes of curbing its nuclear missile program.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry and the Russian Customs Service each declined to comment when asked about the ship-to-ship cargo transfer — and the owner of a ship allegedly involved in the illegal activity denied involvement.

“The vessels are smuggling Russian fuel from Russian Far Eastern ports to North Korea,” the first security source said on the condition of anonymity.

Last week the U.N. Security Council passed even stricter sanctions on North Korea, banning roughly 90 percent of oil and refined petroleum imports in response to Kim Jong Un’s latest missile test Nov. 29.

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