China tightens North Korea trade restrictions under United Nations sanctions

China’s President Xi’s New Year Speech Heralds ‘Golden Age’ for China

The seizure and inspection took place in November, but it was reported only after South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper published U.S. reconnaissance photos on Tuesday that were part of a U.S. Treasury Department announcement of sanctions on 20 North Korean vessels and six shipping and trading companies.

But instead of going to Taiwan it transferred the oil to a North Korean ship and three other vessels in global waters on 19 October, South Korean officials were quoted as saying.

"If they're helping me with North Korea, I can look at trade a little bit differently, at least for a period of time".

China also warned its citizens and firms of strict penalties if they engage in activities that violate UNSC resolutions amid allegations that some Chinese ships are stealthily supplying oil to North Korea.

The merchant tanker, the Chinese-owned Lighthouse Winmore, was detained in South Korea in November.

The revelations came as China denied claims by President Donald Trump it had allowed oil shipments to the North.

China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing all resolutions against North Korea, despite suspicion in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo that loopholes still exist.

China a staunch communist ally of North Korea has been repeatedly urged by the worldwide community to abide by the sanctions imposed on North Korea.


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.

It was not immediately possible to find information for the company.

Both ships were among 10 vessels that the United States had proposed the UN Security Council should blacklist for transporting banned items from North Korea, documents seen by Reuters this month showed.

What happened with the Lighthouse Winmore?

A Taiwan fishing company is under investigation for allegedly selling oil to North Korea in breach of sanctions by United Nations Security Council, reports said Thursday. Crude oil and refined petroleum supplies will be also capped, in accordance with the restrictions imposed earlier by the UN.

Previous sanctions banned sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source.

North Korea has faced increasingly tight sanctions as it steps up efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program.

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