China Stops Exports of Oil Products to North Korea

China did not export any of its oil products in November to North Korea, showed data from Chinese customs, apparently going beyond the sanctions imposed this year by the UN in an attempt to limit shipments of petroleum to the isolated nation.

Tensions have increased again over the ongoing missile and nuclear programs in North Korea, pursued by the country in defiance over resolutions by the UN. Last week, the Security Council at the UN imposed more caps on trading with North Korea, which included limiting shipments of oil product to only 500,000 barrels per year.

Beijing did not import any coal, lead or iron ore from North Korea during November, the second month of the most recent trade sanctions the UN imposed.

China, North Korea’s main source of fuel, did not export jet fuel, gasoline, fuel oil or diesel in November to its neighbor, said data released Tuesday by the General Administration of Customs.

For a second consecutive month in November, China did not export any gasoline or diesel to North Korea. Not since February of 2015 have the shipments of jet fuel stood at zero to North Korea from China.

The tightening is a reflection of the stance taken by China, said observers. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of China said she did not know of any details about the export situation of oil products to North Korea.

Without elaborating, the spokesperson said in principle, China has fully, conscientiously, correctly and strictly enforced the relevant Security Council resolutions at the UN related to North Korea.

Since this past June, China National Petroleum Corp, which is state run, suspended sales for diesel and gasoline to North Korea, as it is worried it would not be paid for the goods.

Beijing’s move of turning the taps off completely on North Korea is quite rare.

In March of 2003, China stopped sending oil supplies into North Korea, but for just three days, after the government of the secretive nation fired a missile into the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

It is not known if China sells crude to Pyongyang as Beijing has not released its exports of crude to North Korea for a number of years.

Sources in the industry say that China is still supplying close to 3.8 million barrels annually of crude to North Koreas which is equal to slightly more than 10,000 barrels daily, and worth over $200 million.

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