U.S. satellites have caught China illegally selling oil to North Korea. According to South Korea’s Chosun, “the two ships appeared to be illegally trading in oil from ship to ship to bypass sanctions.”
Details from Gateway Pundit
President Trump is not happy about the news, tweeting on Thursday morning, “Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
Photo credit: Chosun
According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, U.S. recon satellites have photographed around 30 illegal transactions involving Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea on the West Sea in October. The images allegedly showed large Chinese and North Korean ships transacting in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea. The satellite pictures even showed the names of the ships.
A government source said, “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.” Meanwhile, on paper, China’s trade with North has recently collapsed after U.S. President Donald Trump unleashed a barrage of sanctions in September targeting North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products.
In a unanimous vote, the UN Security Council decided to boost their sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom in September. The profitable textile exports from North Korea have been banned and their fuel supplies have caps applied to them – this prompted a threat of retaliation against the U.S.
The draft the U.S. initially worked on was much tougher, but to win support from China and Russia – who both hold the power of veto in the council – the U.S. weakened the resolution. The U.S. stopped short of proposing a full embargo on oil exports to the country, which would have affected China’s bottom line as most of that oil comes from China.
But will it be enough to prevent the U.S. and North Korea from going war?