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NATO leaders urge continuation of 'decisive pressure' on North Korea

16 July 2018

The United States accused Pyongyang of illegally importing oil products on Thursday and asked the United Nations Security Council to demand countries halt future deliveries to North Korea.

A confidential U.S. report sent to UN Security Council and seen by AFP news agency, estimated that at least 759,793 barrels of oil products had been delivered to North Korea between January 1 and May 30, well above the annual quota set at 500,000 barrels.

Only Russia and China have detailed genuine offers of about 14,000 tons of refined oil to North Korea in 2018, according to the website of Security Council North Korea sanctions committee.

The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee.

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The committee was expected to take five days to consider the request, which China and Russian Federation are expected to block.

The United States is stepping up preparations for another round of negotiations with North Korea on dismantling the regime's nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said Friday.

At the end of a year ago, 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.

The U.S. accusation of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages with North Korea in a bid to negotiate to denuclearise the Asian country.

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Two countries were also flagged in the USA report for their role in provisioning on-the-books exports of petrol products supplementary to the barrels illicitly acquired through ship-to-ship transfers.

"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", it said.

Reuters in December reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea by transferring cargoes at sea.

"We call upon (North Korea) to fully implement its worldwide obligations; to eliminate its nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare capabilities and ballistic missiles, and abandon all related 'programmes", the statement said. The North Korean tanker then proceeded to the port of Nampo in North Korea, docking five days later. If no objections are raised, the United States request will be approved.

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NATO leaders urge continuation of 'decisive pressure' on North Korea