Russia thwarting sanctions against North Korea through an increase in oil exports

North Korean cargo vessel Dai Hong Dan was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, Oct. 29, but the crew regained control of the ship. U.S. Navy Ship USS James E. Williams responded to the distress call and provided medical assistance. Combined Task Force 150, one of three task forces under Combined Maritime Forces provides Maritime Security Operations in the waters off the coast of Somalia and Horn of Africa. MSO helps set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment and complement the counterterrorism and security efforts in regional nations� littoral waters. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region. (U.S. Navy Photo/USS James E. Williams)

The Russian government appears to be thwarting U.S. and South Korean efforts to economically isolate North Korea with increased shipments of oil.

According to “citizen journalists” who report from inside the hermit kingdom, the price of diesel fuel has dropped substantially in the past month, due in large part to Moscow’s increased oil exports.

The journalists who report on events inside North Korea for the Osaka-based Asia Press International (API) news agency said that the price of fuel began dropping substantially in November after months of fluctuation.

Resolution 2375, adopted by the United Nations Security Council shortly after the North’s sixth underground nuclear test on September 3, specifically targets fuel exports to North Korea.

Also, the Trump administration has been putting pressure on China to cut its exports of oil to Pyongyang, as well as its import of North Korean coal.

One of the correspondents for API said that “massive amounts” of fuel are coming into the North Korean border province of Yanggang from Russia.

“It is difficult to know exactly how much fuel is getting into North Korea, but it does appear that Russia has recently been supplying Pyongyang with fuel,” said James Brown, an associate professor of international relations and an expert on Russia-North Korean trade at the Tokyo campus of Temple University.

Like China, Russia also fears that a North Korean collapse would cause a huge influx of refugees, put a competitor nation on its border or cause a civil war as factions fought over control of the country’s nuclear weapons. [source]

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