The United States has asked the UN Security Council to impose an immediate stop to all shipments of refined oil products to North Korea, after finding that Kim Jong-un’s regime has vastly exceeded the UN-restricted quota for oil product imports, the AFP reported on Thursday, citing a confidential U.S. report to the UN sanctions committee.
Under the latest United Nations Security Council sanctions regarding oil sales to North Korea from December 2017, North Korea is allowed to import a maximum aggregate amount of 500,000 barrels of all refined oil products for 12 months beginning on January 1, 2018. The sanctions also introduced a limit of 4 million barrels per a twelve-month period as of 22 December 2017 for the supply, sale or transfer of crude oil to North Korea.
According to the U.S. report to the UN, North Korea received at least 759,793 barrels of oil products between January 1 and May 30, well above the 500,000-barrel annual quota. The supplies have been made via ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers that have called in port at least 89 times, the U.S. says.
“These sales and any other transfer must immediately stop since the United States believes the DPRK has breached the ... refined petroleum products quota for 2018,” reads the U.S. report to the UN that AFP has seen.
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According to Reuters, the U.S. provided a list of the 89 North Korean tankers to the UN Security Council committee and a few select photos.
According to AFP, the UN committee will consider the U.S. request and take five days to do that, with China and Russia expected to block the consideration of the request.
The U.S. accused China and Russia of keeping oil sales to North Korea, according to the report that AFP has seen.
At the end of last year, South Korea impounded a Hong Kong-registered oil tanker suspected of having secretly transferred refined oil to a North Korean vessel, thus violating United Nations sanctions.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.