The price of fuel in North Korea has plummeted last month thanks to Russian oil imports, according to reports suggesting that Russia is ignoring international efforts to isolate the corrupt regime in North Korea.
Journalists with the Asia Press International website, which is based in Osaka, Japan, and publishes in English, Japanese and Korean, reportedly said that fuel prices began to fall in November. Reports claimed that the price of diesel had dropped by 60 percent since the beginning of November and the price of gasoline decreased by 25 percent.
The supposed drop in price occurs despite pressure from the US. UU the fuel for Kim Jong Un's regime. Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now
Citizen journalists allegedly claimed that "massive amounts" of fuel are being imported through North Korea's Ryanggang Province from Russia. The province, however, borders China.
It is difficult to substantiate claims from North Korea, a closed regime where information seldom leaks. But experts in the region say that Russia and China have a history of doing business with North Korea.
"There are many commercial channels between China and North Korea, some licit and some illicit, so I would not be surprised if Russia took advantage of them," said Lisa Collins, Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies , Newsweek .
"We know that Russia has given North Korea some oil in the past, and I think there were some reports that North Korea was using ships to circumvent Security Council sanctions that would hide the origin of oil" .
In September, Reuters and Washington Post reported that Russia was helping North Korea avoid US sanctions and provide fuel to the country.
On September 11, the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution banning exports of natural gas condensates and liquids to North Korea and limiting the annual supply of refined petroleum products to two million barrels per year. year. According to reports, the price of fuel skyrocketed in North Korea following the implementation of sanctions in September.
Given the limited scope of the resolution, however, Russia is legally authorized to sell some oil to North Korea.
"It is no secret that Russia supplies oil to North Korea, in fact, Russia has every right to do so," said James Brown, an expert in Russia and Japan who focuses on energy policy at Temple University, Newsweek . "This is because Russia made sure that no cuts were made to the supply of crude oil in the sanctions approved on September 11."
Providing oil to North Korea could be Russia's way of rejecting the US approach to pressuring North Korea, Brown added.
"The Russian authorities are also generally against the policy of maximum pressure from the United States on North Korea, believing that the policy has caused Pyongyang to accelerate its nuclear and missile program," he said. "Instead of new sanctions, Moscow favors the immediate dialogue with North Korea."
On Tuesday, Russian state media reported that the Kremlin is ready to take a leading role in the pressure on Pyongyang.