China says will limit oil, refined product exports to North Korea

China says will limit oil, refined product exports to North Korea

China will stop exporting the products, if and when the volume approaches the limit.

This development comes in the wake of South Korea seizing a ship from Hong Kong suspected to have engaged in mid-sea oil trade with North Korea and US satellite images showing two vessels - one each from North Korea and China - carrying out some sort of a trade deal in a part of the West Sea, between China and South Korea.

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper this week quoted South Korean government sources as saying that USA spy satellites had detected Chinese ships transferring oil to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October.

The move, in line with the UN Security Council resolutions, will be effective from tomorrow.

Is oil part of the sanctions against the North?

"If, through investigation, it's confirmed there are violations of the UN Security Council resolutions, China will deal with them seriously in accordance with laws and regulations".

"We have noticed the relevant reports", foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said here in response to media reports that few Chinese ships had changed their flag country and registration place, to conduct activities that ran counter to Security Council resolutions.

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In the Times interview, Trump explicitly tied his administration's trade policy with China to its perceived co-operation in resolving the North Korea nuclear crisis.

China is the North's main trading partner and energy supplier, making its enforcement critical to the success of sanctions.

Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, after a vote on new sanctions against North Korea during a Security Council meeting earlier this month. They are barred from supplying the North's military or weapons programs.

"The global shipping industry is open, and it is common for ships to change flag country, registration place or charter to other parties", Geng said.

Taiwan is not a United Nations member, but its President Tsai Ing-wen's office said in November her government would comply with North Korea-related UNSC agreements, including sanctions.

The limit of crude exports in the one year period ending on December 22nd, 2018 will be set at 4 million barrels or 525,000 tons.

The Commerce Ministry said exports of refined petroleum products to the North in 2018 will be capped at 500,000 barrels.

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