BREAKING NEWS | TRUMP CLAIMS CHINA CAUGHT RED HANDED TRANSFERRING OIL TO N.KOREA | USA News
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TRUMP CLAIMS CHINA CAUGHT RED HANDED TRANSFERRING OIL TO N.KOREA
President’s tweet says such moves would prevent ‘friendly solution’ to crisis
Beijing says it ‘completely and strictly’ enforces UN sanctions
President Donald Trump speaks first responders at West Palm Beach Fire Rescue in Florida on Wednesday.
Donald Trump on Thursday said he was “very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea” and said such moves would prevent “a friendly solution” to the crisis over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Earlier, China said there had been no sanction-breaking oil transfers between Chinese ships and North Korean vessels, of the kind described by a South Korea newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, which said spy satellites had detected 30 instances of such transfers since October.
That report was picked up by Fox News, commonly a source of information linked to Trump’s tweets.
“Caught RED HANDED,” the president wrote, with a characteristic use of capitals. “Very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
Trump was spending another day in Florida, where he was staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort. Before the tweet was sent, the White House press pool reported that he had travelled to one of his golf courses in the state.
Trump has often departed from diplomatic niceties when discussing North Korea, both on Twitter and in speeches. In August, for example, he told reporters that if Pyongyang made any more threats to strike the US, it would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”.
While repeatedly stressing that all options including military force are on the table, the president has routinely asked that China take responsibility for reducing the threat a nuclear North Korea poses, because it is the isolated nation’s primary trading partner.
In an illustrative tweet in April, he wrote: “China is very much the economic lifeline to North Korea so, while nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korean problem, they will.”
On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged Beijing to exert “decisive economic leverage” on Pyongyang. “China has applied certain import bans and sanctions, but it could and should do more,” he wrote in the New York Times.
The UN security council last week unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea, in response to a recent intercontinental ballistic missile test. The US-drafted UN resolution seeks to ban nearly 90% of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.
The resolution also caps crude oil supplies to North Korea at 4m barrels a year and commits the security council to further reductions if North Korea conducts another nuclear test or launches another ICBM.
Documents seen by Reuters this month showed that 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. China and Russia subsequently asked for more time to consider the proposal.
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