Trump 'Very Disappointed' China Exports Oil to N Korea, Despite Their Denial

Trump's tweet came after a South Korean newspaper published what it said were US spy satellite images of Chinese ships selling oil to North Korean ships.

It is unclear if Trump's admonishment of China was based on news reports or classified information he received from US intelligence officials.

"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

North Korea on Sunday described the United Nations move as an "act of war" and vowed to take revenge on the US and other Security Council members.

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Trump's key to North Korea, however, has always been China and his personal relationship with Xi. That report was picked up by some USA media outlets, including Fox News.

But she said China has "completely and strictly" enforced trade restrictions aimed at discouraging North Korea from developing nuclear and missile technology.

The UN resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.

Despite softening his stance towards Beijing in an effort to secure more assistance on issue areas relating to the Korean Peninsula, Trump has listed China among key threats to the U.S. and global security in his new national security strategy.

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The US-drafted resolution bans the supply of almost 75 percent of refined oil products to North Korea, puts a cap on crude deliveries and orders North Korean nationals working overseas to be sent back by the end of 2019.

President Donald Trump is attacking China following reports that Chinese ships improperly transferred oil to North Korean vessels at sea, saying there "will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" The US Treasury Department later placed six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their vessels on sanctions list.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on that report.

According to South Korean government sources, the satellites have pictured large Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea.

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"China has applied certain import bans and sanctions, but it could and should do more", he wrote in The New York Times.

  • Ryan Wade