China, Russia accused of illegally selling North Korea oil

China has denied reports it sold oil products to North Korea, while Russia has been accused of doing the same in a report by Reuters.

China vetoed US efforts to have the UN blacklist six ships accused of illegal trade with North Korea, five of which were mainland China or Hong Kong owned.

Mr Trump tweeted his claims that China were illegally supplying oil to North Korea.

“Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea,” said Mr Trump on Twitter.

“There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”

South Korea has since seized a Hong Kong registered ship, the Lighthouse Winmore, they claim transferred oil to a North Korean ship.

The US Treasury Department released satellite images it claims show the Lighthouse Winmore transerring oil to a North Korean ship in international waters on October 19.

Russia has also been accused of ship to ship transferral of oil to North Korea in a Reuters report citing two senior Western European security sources.

The two sources independently confirmed the reports, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“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 is quoted as saying.

Whilst confirming the claims of the first source, the second also cast doubt on whether the Russian government is involved.

“There is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state but these Russian vessels are giving a lifeline to the North Koreans,” the second European security source is quoted as saying.

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