Trump 'Very Disappointed' China Exports Oil to N Korea, Despite Their Denial

US satellites have spotted Chinese tankers transferring oil to North Korean ships 30 times in three months- despite strict UN trade embargoes it has been claimed. One

Washington says the full cooperation of China, North Korea's neighbour and main trading partner, is vital to the success of this effort, while warning that all options are on the table, including military ones, in dealing with North Korea.

"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying was unaware of details relating to the oil products export situation, but said: "As a principle, China has consistently fully, correctly, conscientiously and strictly enforced relevant UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea".

But US reconnaissance satellites have reportedly spotted Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in the Yellow Sea between China and the Korean peninsula.

South Korean authorities have reportedly seized and inspected a Hong Kong-flagged vessel after it secretly transferred petroleum to a North Korean vessel in worldwide waters.

This stance was echoed by Chinese customs data, presented by the Reuters news agency.

Trump said on Twitter the previous day that China had been "caught" allowing oil into North Korea and that would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over North Korea's nuclear program.

A White House official and multiple National Security Council officials were unable to explain the President's tweet and did not respond to questions about whether he was referring to the recent reports from South Korea.

In announcing the USA move Mr Richardson reiterated America's concerns about Beijing's artificial islands in the South China Sea however he stressed North Korea was the "most urgent" task for the U.S. Navy in Asia as it became "more and more capable" with every new missile test. Moreover, he had previously accused the country on the campaign trail for alleged unfair trading practices, such as engaging in artificial currency devaluation.

USA spy satellites have captured images of what appears to be Chinese ships illegally selling oil to North Korean boats.

Sanctions have been placed on Kim Jong-un's secretive nation after he accelerated his nuclear and missile programmes
Sanctions have been placed on Kim Jong-un's secretive nation after he accelerated his nuclear and missile programmes

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, citing government sources in Seoul, reported earlier this week that U.S. satellites had spotted Chinese ships selling oil to North Korean vessels dozens of times since October.

The official described the incident as Pyongyang "shrewdly circumventing" sanctions, adding that South Korea had shared intelligence on the case with the US.

Will 2018 see war in North Korea?

"China has a tremendous power over North Korea".

Harry Kazianis, director of defence studies at the conservative Center for the National Interest, said China would "never, ever, enforce the sanctions to the satisfaction of President Trump", in spite of the effort the United States president had invested in developing a personal relationship with China's Xi Jinping.

"This was always bound to happen".

China has supported the moves, but critics claim it is not rigidly enforcing the sanctions, fearful that too much pressure will cause the unpredictable regime to collapse.

Earlier, China denied the report, saying there had been no oil sales violating United Nations sanctions.

"The solution is a coherent strategy, not bluster", he said.

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