United Nations diplomats: Russian Federation and China block USA on North Korea oil

Marsha Scott
July 24, 2018

After meeting some of the women earlier this month, Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations' independent investigator on human rights in North Korea, told reporters in Seoul that they told him they did not know they were heading to South Korea when they departed China.

Those remarks were echoed by the Netherlands' UN ambassador Karel Van Oosterom, who chairs the Security Council committee on North Korea sanctions.

Right now, Pompeo said, North Korea is "illegally smuggling" refined petroleum products into the country beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under United Nations sanctions, mainly by ship-to-ship transfers.

However, Russia's Deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy said there was no reason for Haley to reproach Russia.

The UN Security Council last September agreed to a ban on all condensate and natural gas liquids supplied to North Korea and limiting exports of refined products to a total of 500,000 barrels from October 1 to December 31, 2017 and to 2 million barrels for all of 2018. After Pompeo's third trip to Pyongyang, North Korea released a scathing statement, saying the US made "gangster-like" demands and calling the meetings "regrettable" and even "cancerous". Last year, Trump and Kim were locked in an escalating, which included Trump threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" if the country took action against the United States.

North Korea's economy saw its sharpest decline in two decades a year ago.

"We don't need any more information", Haley said Friday. A cut-off of oil and fuel would be primarily enforced by China, which supplies North Korea with most of its energy needs, but also Russian Federation, which has delivered some oil to Pyongyang.

Nonetheless, Pompeo told reporters after meeting behind closed doors with the 15 council members that President Donald Trump "remains upbeat about the prospects for denuclearization" following his historic summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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It also asked the committee to prevent ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products. "But our hopes for a safer world for all of us and a brighter future for North Korea remains our objective and that hope endures", Pompeo said.

Washington is also pursuing its unsubstantiated allegations that Russia, China and South Korea are breaching the sanctions.

"The problem that we are encountering", Haley said, "is that some of our friends have decided that they want to go around the rules". Pyongyang claims they were abducted by South Korean authorities.

Pompeo said "the scope and scale" of denuclearization "is agreed to" and "the North Koreans understand what that means", though he didn't elaborate and sidestepped a question on what the first step should be.

"If our goal still is the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of the North Korean nuclear program, we're not succeeding", said Sue Mi Terry of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, speaking to a security conference in Aspen, Colorado.

However, analysts believe wider sanctions previous year are likely to make the economic deterioration in 2018 worse than 2017, which could add to humanitarian need in the politically isolated state. The joint statement included a USA commitment to providing security guarantees to North Korea in exchange for its denuclearization, and North Korea's promise to recover and return the remains of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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