Washington DC, June 13: The United States has accused North Korea on Wednesday of violating the United Nations (UN) fuel sanctions by conducting several fuel shipments at sea that reportedly broke foreign sanctions.
Meanwhile, the UN report stated North Korea has already reached and exceeded the permitted annual cap on fuel imports of 500,000 barrels this year, according to ANI news reports.
This comes a day after Trump said on Tuesday he received a letter from his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un, calling it very warm and “beautiful”. Trump said, “I think that something will happen that’s going to be very positive,” but did not have further details.
The US is seeking to reconstruct momentum in the stalled talks between Kim and Trump, aiming at achieving the full dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme.
Trump said, “I can’t show you the letter obviously, but it was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter,” adding, “North Korea has tremendous potential, and he’ll be there. Under his (Kim) leadership … And the one that feels that more than anybody is (Kim). He gets it.”
A UN diplomat was quoted by CNN as saying at least eight illegal shipments have taken place involving Pyongyang flagged oil tankers. The diplomat added there were about 72 cases of UN sanction violations which were being tracked.
The diplomat gave “F” grade to North Korea regarding the UN sanction implementation on fuel import.
The diplomat added, “Not only is DPRK circumventing the petroleum ban it has systematically circumvented it all last year and is systematically circumventing it this year and, unstopped, it will have basically achieved the same amount of refined petroleum smuggled into North Korea as it did last year.”
Under the UN sanction cap rule, nations are needed to provide reports monthly on the basis of petroleum refined products sales to the committee.
The UN sanction committee experts have reported there was a “massive increase in the illegal ship to ship transfer of petroleum products and coal”.