North Korea fuel shipments exceeded sanctions limit, US says

Modesto Morganelli
Luglio 16, 2018

Leaders of the NATO member states have called on the worldwide community to maintain "decisive pressure" on North Korea to force it to abandon its military nuclear program, including by fully implementing existing United Nations (U.N.) sanctions.

In April, the Security Council blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies over coal and oil smuggling to North Korea.

The illegal supplies were provided through ship-to-ship transfers at sea using North Korean tankers that have delivered their cargo at least 89 times, according to the report.

The US intelligence report sent to the United Nations sanctions committee estimated that ship-to-ship transfers may have provided North Korea with as much as 1,367,628 barrels of refined products.

The United States requested that the UN committee declare that North Korea had violated the UN-approved quota and "order an immediate halt to all transfers of refined petroleum products" to North Korea.

According to AFP, the United Nations committee will consider the USA request and take five days to do that, with China and Russian Federation expected to block the consideration of the request.

It suggests that North Korea has found ways to continue importing oil, even if the transactions keep getting captured on US and Japanese intelligence photographs.

It welcomed recent talks with North Korea by the leaders of South Korea and the United States "as a contribution towards reaching the final fully verified denuclearisation of (North Korea) in a peaceful manner".

The countries participating in the NATO summit called for increased pressure on North Korea.

In its report, the United States pointed the finger at China and Russian Federation for continuing to sell refined petroleum products to North Korea.

The United States added in the report, "If fully loaded at around 90 percent laden, DPRK tankers have delivered almost triple the 2018 quota at 1,367,628 barrels".

Although tensions have eased up since President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last month, talks on denuclearization have hit a rocky spot since then.

"We call upon (North Korea) to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related 'programmes", the statement said. The illicit transfer of fuel in North Korea could have easily exceeded the annual upper limit of 500,000 barrels, they stated.

The sanctions committee chaired by the Netherlands set a deadline of 12:00 pm (1600 GMT) on Thursday Jul 19 for countries to raise objections.

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