As reported by Reuters, the US has accused North Korea of circumventing UN sanctions by using at-sea cargo switching.
"The United States accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel. The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning.
The United States said that as of May 30, 89 North Korean tankers had brought in refined petroleum products illicitly obtained in ship-to-ship transfers this year.
The United States did not broadly say which countries it believed were illicitly providing North Korea with refined petroleum. But it does mention one case of a ship-to-ship transfer involving a Russian-flagged ship and one case involving a Belize-flagged ship.
According to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee website, only Russia and China have reported legitimate sales of some 14,000 tons of refined petroleum to North Korea in 2018.
“If fully loaded at around 90 percent laden, DPRK tankers have delivered nearly triple the 2018 quota at 1,367,628 barrels,” the United States said.
It asked the North Korea sanctions committee to issue an urgent note to all U.N. member states notifying them that North Korea has breached the refined petroleum cap and order an immediate halt to all transfers."
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