China has apparently been secretly selling oil to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions and its own promises to drastically curb trade with the country.
A report from South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo on Tuesday said that US spy satellite images show that Chinese ships have transferred oil to North Korean ships in the West Sea around 30 times since October, citing unnamed government sources in the South Korean government. A report from the Financial Times on Wednesday confirmed the story with other diplomatic officials in the region.
In response to the news, President Trump on Thursday tweeted that China had been “caught RED HANDED” selling oil to Pyongyang. “There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!” Trump added.
Trump has put China at the center of his North Korea strategy. China is North Korea’s closest trading partner and ally, and as such has enormous leverage over the country’s small and impoverished economy. Trump has argued that China should do more to pressure North Korea to curb its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
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