The UN Security Council on Thursday denied worldwide port access to four North Korean ships suspected of carrying or having transported goods banned by global sanctions targeting Pyongyang, diplomats told AFP.
The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, reported December 26 that USA spy satellites had observed Chinese vessels allegedly transferring oil to North Korean ships in the sea between the two countries about 30 times since October, citing unidentified South Korea government officials.
In the interview, Trump said he'd be willing to launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if negotiating "like crazy" didn't work.
In one of three tweets early on Thursday from his West Palm Beach golf club, he charged that China was "caught RED HANDED" allowing oil shipments to reach North Korean ports.
The comments come after South Korean newspaper reported Chinese and North Korean vessels had been illicitly linking up at sea to get oil to North Korea.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information following Chosun's report, but said "the Chinese government has been completely and strictly enforcing Security Council resolutions" aimed at discouraging North Korea from developing nuclear and missile technology.
It was not immediately clear if Trump was referring to the report or United States intelligence in his tweet, or if he was accusing China - the North's main ally - of directly violating sanctions targeting Pyongyang. The latest sanctions adopted Friday, in response to the test of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile, also impose sharp reductions on imports of refined oil products by the isolated nation.
China and Russian Federation subsequently asked for more time to consider the proposal. One of them - Rye Song Gang 1, seen "connected to a Chinese vessel" - was included in the November 21 sanctions as a vessel of Korea Kumbyol Trading Company possibly transferring oil to evade sanctions. "We'd like to have Russia's help - very important", Trump told reporters after a phone conversation with President Vladimir Putin.
Mike Pence reschedules Middle East visit for January
US Vice President Mike Pence has postponed his visit to the Middle East to mid-January, announced the White House on Monday. The Vice President is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line.