US Accuses Russia of Quietly Shipping Refined Petroleum to North Korea at Levels Violating UN Cap

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 03, 2024 04:21 AM EDT

The United States (US) revealed on Thursday that Russia has been discreetly supplying refined petroleum to North Korea at levels that seem to exceed a cap set by the United Nations Security Council. 

This pool image distributed by Sputnik agency shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shaking hands during their meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur region on September 13, 2023, ahead of planned talks that could lead to a weapons deal with Russian President.
(Photo : VLADIMIR SMIRNOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Russia Is Supplying Fuel to North Korea Beyond the UN Cap: US

Reuters reported that this revelation came on the first day after a Russian veto disbanded a UN panel of experts tasked with monitoring the enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

A US official said Russia made this move to hide its own violations of UN Security Council resolutions. In late March, Moscow blocked the yearly renewal of the UN sanctions monitors.

According to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, while Russia blocked the renewal of the panel's mandate, it was simultaneously shipping refined petroleum from Russia's Vostochny Port to North Korea.  

Based on UN sanctions, North Korea is limited to importing 500,000 barrels of refined products annually. Both Russia's and North Korea's UN missions in New York have yet to comment on the US accusation.

Kirby noted that in March alone, Russia delivered over 165,000 barrels of refined petroleum to North Korea. Given the close proximity of Russia's and North Korea's commercial ports, he said Moscow could continue these shipments indefinitely.

READ NEXT: Joe Biden Administration Sanctions Hundreds of Companies to Choke Russia's Supplies of Military Technology 

US Plans More Sanctions on Russia and North Korea

According to John Kirby, the US will continue to impose sanctions against those who facilitate arms and refined petroleum transfers between Russia and North Korea.

Kirby said they have previously coordinated autonomous sanctions designations with their allies, such as the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, "and we will continue to do so."

US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller noted that the US and its allies plan to announce "new coordinated sanctions designations" this month.

READ MORE: Russia-North Korea Partnership: What Kind of Weapons Technology Is Moscow Sending to Pyongyang?

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics