Trump Warns Against Illicit Chinese Oil Sales to North Korea

Just two weeks ago, Trump credited China for its help in the US -led pressure campaign against Pyongyang, including support for three U.N. Security Council resolutions this year - the latest last week - over the North's nuclear and missile tests.

But China only agreed to target the four North Korean ships, diplomats said, as part of the bid to curb Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.

China's foreign ministry has defended its enforcement of United Nations sanctions against North Korea following reports Chinese ships improperly transferred oil to North Korean vessels at sea.

He added: "There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"

Trump tweets that he's "been saying it for a long, long time".

The same photos released at the time were used by South Korean outlets in recent reports.

In one of three tweets early on Thursday from his West Palm Beach golf club, he charged that China was "caught RED HANDED" allowing oil shipments to reach North Korean ports.

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

Mr Trump also posted a video on Twitter comparing his comments on North Korea 18 years ago to those of former US President Bill Clinton 23 years ago.

The newspaper said the transfers involved large Chinese and North Korean ships operating in waters between China and South Korea. China supplies most of North Korea's estimated 10,000 barrels a day of crude oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Documents seen by Reuters this month showed Washington called on the Security Council to blacklist 10 ships for circumventing sanctions by conducting ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or transporting North Korean coal.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was unaware of details relating to the oil products export situation, but said: "As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea".

China and Russian Federation subsequently asked for more time to consider the proposal.


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