Russia tankers caught supplying fuel to North Korean vessels in international waters
China and Russia continue to violate UN sanctions against North Korea that both countries voted in favor of by illegally supplying the Kim Jong-un regime with oil and fuel.
Recent reports noted that Chinese vessels had been seen via satellite transferring oil to North Korean tankers, and now Russian ships have been caught as well, and apparently, the refueling has been taking place for months, according to senior Western intelligence officials.
In September, Western media reported that North Korean ships were sailing directly to and from Russian ports, but after those reports surfaced, Russia apparently began supplying the North Koreans secretly at sea in the ensuing months.
“The Russian vessels made transfers at sea to the North Koreans,” the first security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Western media. The source said the transfers of oil or oil products took place on several occasions and were a breach of UN sanctions.
A second source confirmed the transfers but added there was no evidence that the Kremlin was directly involved in the smuggling operations.
“There is no evidence that this is backed by the Russian state but these Russian vessels are giving a lifeline to the North Koreans,” the second European security source said.
Both sources said naval and satellite intelligence captured the transfers at sea. The vessels operated out of Russian Far Eastern ports on the Pacific.
“The vessels are smuggling Russian fuel from Russian Far Eastern ports to North Korea,” said the first security source. [source]
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