China Suspends Fuel Sales To North Korea’s Regime (Video)
North Korea is already just barely hanging by a thread economically…
Conservative Tribune: As part of President Donald Trump’s plan to deal with the totalitarian state of North Korea, he has been pressuring China to do more to rein them in. The president hasn’t appeared pleased with China’s efforts so far, tweeting last week, “While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!”
Although its motivations are not entirely clear, it appears China is now doing more to stifle the North Korean regime. China’s largest state-owned energy company, China National Petroleum Corp, has stopped fuel sales (mainly gasoline and diesel) to North Korea, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.
CNPC appears to have cut off the fuel shipment out of concern that North Korea could no longer pay for the fuel. It is unclear if this move was also motivated by pressure from the Trump administration. More
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Reuters: China National Petroleum Corp has suspended sales of fuel to North Korea over concerns the state-owned oil company won’t get paid, as pressure mounts on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear and missile programmes, three sources told Reuters.
It’s unclear how long the suspension will last. A prolonged cut would threaten critical supplies of fuel and force North Korea to find alternatives to its main supplier of diesel and gasoline, as scrutiny of China’s close commercial ties with its increasingly isolated neighbour intensifies.
CNPC and the Ministry of Commerce did not respond to requests for comment. North Korea’s embassy in Beijing declined to comment.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked about the sale suspension and whether the Chinese government put pressure on CNPC to make this decision, said: “I do not understand this situation you are talking about” and declined to elaborate.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said CNPC decided to put fuel sales on hold “over the last month or two” and described it as a “commercial decision”.
“It’s no longer worth the risks,” said the source. Chinese and international banks are stepping up compliance checks on companies dealing with countries on the U.S. sanctions list, such as North Korea, he said.
The North Korean agents who mostly buy the diesel and gasoline have been unable recently to pay for the supplies — CNPC normally requires upfront payments, the source said.
Reuters was unable to determine if the agents have started facing credit problems with Chinese and international banks worried about sanctions compliance issues.