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Chinese ships caught coal cargo from North Korea in violation of US sanctions

U.S. Officials say they have satellite photos showing that Chinese cargoes carry coal from North Korea in defiance of UN sanctions, beginning a few days after the sanctions were imposed.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal the six Chinese boats tracked by American satellites used techniques such as turning off their automatic identification systems before calling at North Korea to collect their illicit loads of coal .

The first ship of interest, the Glory Hope 1 Charged coal from North Korea a few days after the sanctions were approved, with the approval of China, in August. It was delayed for an unusually long time in a Chinese port after returning from North Korea, in what US officials believe was a ploy to make it look like the ship was carrying Chinese cargo. In truth, he transported up to $ 1.5 million in coal in defiance of the United Nations. Other shipments tracked by the US UU They went to Russia and Vietnam or were transferred to other ships at sea.

The six ships in question are managed or owned by Chinese companies or Hong Kong companies. Four other vessels that had no obvious connection to China were identified by the United States as violators of the sanctions.

The United States presented its evidence to the United Nations and requested that the ten vessels captured by satellite be labeled as violators of sanctions. China opposed such designation for the six Chinese ships, but allowed the four non-Chinese ships to be designated.

According to the Wall Street Journal the Chinese government has investigated four of the six Chinese sends and arrests at least one manager connected with them. China insists that it is fully complying with US sanctions. UU And will investigate all reported violations.

President Donald Trump and other government officials praised China for cooperating with sanctions against North Korea's nuclear missile program. A few days ago, the president offered such praise in an interview in the Oval Office where he lashed out at Russia for helping North Korea evade the full weight of the sanctions.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea," Trump complained. "With what China is helping us, Russia is dented, in other words, Russia is recovering part of what China is doing."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded to Trump's accusations on Friday by insisting that Russia will honor all its international commitments to North Korea. He added that, in Russia's opinion, it is the United States that refuses to cooperate to resolve "international problems" such as Korea's nuclear issue.

"Regarding the lack of cooperation, we have repeatedly reminded that, Moscow seeks cooperation with the United States in the solution of all regional and international problems, Unfortunately, we feel a lack of will on the part of our colleagues. We still feel it and express our regret in this respect, "Peskov said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also criticized the North Korean summit organized by the United States and Canada in Vancouver this week, calling it "absolutely unacceptable" for the countries involved to "take on the role of 'helper & # 39; of the UN Security Council and interpret its resolutions, thus putting its authority in doubt. "

"Such events, conducted hastily and to the detriment of functional multilateral formats, are not contributing to the normalization of the situation on the Korean peninsula, but, on the contrary, are aggravating it," the Foreign Ministry accused. , which led the State Department of the United States to point out that the meeting had been planned months in advance, not convened "hastily". . "

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