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Russia, China provided nearly 9,000 tons of fuel assistance to North Korea

By
Elizabeth Shim
China and Russia continued to provide shipments of fuel to North Korea, following the adoption of Resolution 2397. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
China and Russia continued to provide shipments of fuel to North Korea, following the adoption of Resolution 2397. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- Russia and China continued to provide fuel assistance to North Korea during the first four months of 2018, according to data from the United Nations Security Council 1718 Sanctions Committee.

The supply, sale and transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korea from its key partners reached a total of 8,618 tons from January to April, the numbers submitted from Security Council members show.

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China delivered 4,470 tons and Russia exported 4,148 tons, with a total of 570 tons entering North Korea in January, 3,275 tons in February, 4,337 tons in March and 438 tons in April.

U.N. member states' fuel transfer is to not exceed an annual limit of 500,000 barrels, under Resolution 2397 adopted in December 2017. As 1 ton of oil equals a little more than 7 barrels, the amount of petroleum products supplied to North Korea remains at about 10 percent of the upper limit.

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The resolution was approved at the Security Council following North Korea's launch of the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-15.

South Korean newspaper Kukmin Ilbo reported Thursday Resolution 2397 would have compelled South Korea to report a plan, later scrapped, to export 10,000 liters of diesel to the North in February, ahead of a concert that was to take place in Mount Kumgang.

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The concert was canceled.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has said there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea, but questions remain over a nuclear timetable and North Korea's denuclearization intentions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee the Trump administration is willing to walk away from the negotiation table if Pyongyang does not commit to a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization process.

"Yes, [the] president has made that very clear," Pompeo said.

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