Tag Archives: Korea&apos

Chinese ships spotted by satellites 'selling oil to North Korea' 30 times since October, despite sanctions

Chinese ships spotted by satellites 'selling oil to North Korea' 30 times since October, despite sanctionsAmerican reconnaissance satellites have reportedly spotted Chinese ships suspected of selling oil to North Korean vessels about 30 times since October. South Korean officials told the Chosun Ilbo that the ships were allegedly trading in the West Sea between China and South Korea in a bid to bypass strict United Nations sanctions on oil exports to the pariah regime over its ongoing nuclear and weapons programme. “We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea’s imports of refined petroleum products,” an unnamed source told the paper. The US Treasury published surveillance photographs reportedly taken on October 19 of the North Korean vessel Rye Song Gang 1 lashed to a large Chinese vessel in deep waters, apparently showing hoses transferring oil. Under the current tough sanctions regime Pyongyang is only allowed 500,000 barrels of oil imports a year. North Korea last week denounced ever tightening economic sanctions as “an act of war.” Ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas is also forbidden under UN rules but very hard to patrol without an aggressive Chinese crackdown on smuggling. Robert Kelly, professor of political science at South Korea’s Pusan National University, ventured that the reports were entirely plausible. “There is a lot of under-the-radar on the Chinese side. Beijing does not police the border strictly or enforce the sanctions toughly. This could be that,” he said. Meanwhile analysts were surprised by the latest Chinese customs data released on Tuesday, showing that, in a rare move, Beijing exported no oil products to North Korea in November. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she didn’t know any details about the oil products export situation, but added: “As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea.” It is unknown if China still sells crude oil to Pyongyang as Beijing has not disclosed its crude export data for several years.



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'Loyal agent of North Korea' charged in Australia over 'sanctions breach'

'Loyal agent of North Korea' charged in Australia over 'sanctions breach'A Sydney-based "loyal agent of North Korea" has been charged with trying to sell missile parts and technology on the black market to raise money for Pyongyang in breach of international sanctions, Australian police said on Sunday. Chan Han Choi, a naturalised Australian citizen of Korean descent, was attempting to broker illicit deals that could have generated "tens of millions of dollars" for North Korea, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said. The 59-year-old was involved in discussions to set up a ballistic missile production facility and the supply of missile construction plans in addition to components, software and the transfer of technical expertise from Pyongyang, police alleged. Neil Gaughan, AFP Assistant Commissioner, told reporters the case was "like nothing we have ever seen on Australian soil", alleging the man was in contact with high-ranking North Korean officials. "This man is a loyal agent of North Korea, believing he was acting to serve some higher patriotic purpose." North Korean missile ranges The alleged agent’s plans did not involve other governments or officials, police said. Authorities did not reveal which individuals or entities the man was allegedly trying to trade with. Mr Gaughan said the charges related to his alleged activity over the past year, but that allegations dated back to 2008. Police started investigating Choi after a tip-off from another international agency on another matter, he said. "I know these charges sound alarming, but we are not suggesting that there are any weapons or missile componentry that came to Australian soil," he said. "We're alleging all of the activity occurred offshore." Australian Federal Police agents collecting evidence in relation to Chan Han Choi's case Credit: Australian Federal Police North Korea is under tough United Nations sanctions aimed at choking off revenue to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. "This is a very important arrest, the charges laid are the greatest nature," Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian Prime Minister, said in Sydney. "It is vitally important that all nations … enforce those sanctions." Key Questions | UN sanctions The man, who has lived in Australia for three decades, allegedly used encrypted communication services to facilitate the attempted trades, which included the transfer of coal from North Korea to entities in Indonesia and Vietnam. He is in custody and faces a total of six charges, with maximum penalties of up to 10 years in jail. Investigators would not rule out further charges, and are probing other attempted commodity trades involving oil and gemstones. "This is black market 101," Mr Gaughan said. This is the first time charges have been laid for breaches under Canberra’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Act and for violating UN sanctions against North Korea in Australia. Global anxiety about North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s authoritarian government has steadily risen this year, with Washington calling on other UN members to cut ties with Pyongyang in order to squeeze the secretive regime.



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'Zero Hope For Denuclearizing North Korea,' China Expert Says

'Zero Hope For Denuclearizing North Korea,' China Expert SaysBEIJING ― President Donald Trump’s designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism may not be the best way to quell the country’s nuclear ambitions, according to one expert in China.



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Britain 'draws up battle plan for war with North Korea'

Britain 'draws up battle plan for war with North Korea'Britain is reportedly preparing for the possibility of war breaking out with North Korea as concerns rise that another provocative missile test could trigger a military response by the US. North Korea is being closely watched amid fears it could launch another long-range missile test on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party. Bellicose rhetoric from Donald Trump has heightened tensions in the region in recent months, prompting British officials to draw up military plans for a response to a break out of hostilities, it was reported.  Among the plans disclosed by the Daily Mail is the deployment of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, before it has undergone flight trials. "We have plenty of ships to send… the Type-45 destroyers, the Type-23 frigates. Britain’s new aircraft carrier could be pressed into service early if things turn south," a senior Whitehall source told the newspaper. HMS Queen Elizabeth in numbers HMS Queen Elizabeth, which arrived at its home in Portsmouth in August after extensive sea trials, is not due to enter service until 2020.  The possible move to deploy it ahead of schedule drew comparisons with the start of the Falklands War.  "In the Falklands we had to react to an event and HMS Illustrious was accelerated to respond," a Navy source told the Mail. "This was a reaction to protect British territory, however. In this case [North Korea], the UK would be part of a united global coalition. We would see what support we could give." The US president hinted on Saturday at taking military action against Kim Jong-un's regime, saying "only one thing will work" in dealing with the country. Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid……— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017 …hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017 The president has previously said the United States would "totally destroy" North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies from Pyongyang's nuclear threats. Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said last week that the UK should increase its military spending in the face of growing threats from states such as North Korea. Last month, Sir Michael told the BBC that Britain was at risk from Pyongyang'’s long-range nuclear missile programme. “The US is fully entitled to defend its own territory, to defend its bases and to look after its people, but this involves us, London is closer to North Korea and its missiles than Los Angeles," he said. 



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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin 'agree to work together on North Korea'

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin 'agree to work together on North Korea'Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to work together to make diplomatic progress on the threat posed by North Korea, following weeks of escalating tensions between the state and the US. The White House said in a short statement on the call the two leaders spoke about the best way to resolve the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea. The Kremlin said that Mr Putin and Mr Trump have agreed during a phone call to try to schedule a face-to-face meeting in Germany in July – around the G20 summit in Hamburg.



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US national security adviser says 'be prepared for military action against North Korea'

US national security adviser says 'be prepared for military action against North Korea'America’s National Security Adviser has said America should be “prepared” to take military action against North Korea. Lieutenant General HR McMaster called on other world powers to prevent the rebellious regime from developing a nuclear arsenal, saying the state was acting in “open defiance of the international community”. “North Korea poses a grave threat to the United States, our great allies in the region, South Korea and Japan … but also to China and others.



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