China continues secret oil exports into North Korea

Wednesday 30th November, 2016

A train crosses from Dandong into Sinuiju.

Despite UN sanctions, China has been reportedly exporting fuel by train from a Dandong military fuel supply centre to North Korea, according to a report by Radio Free Asia. 

North Korea has been enjoying cordial relations with China and Russia, despite China and Russia’s official agreement to the new sanctions. Russia has stopped its fuel exports of fuel, however, from Vladivostok.

China’s exports of crude oil into North Korea is limited by Dandong oil pipeline authorities. It has been observed, however, that only small amounts of crude oil are being exported at a time to circumvent the restrictions.

However, on the 28th, a North Korean source in China said that “On the way to Wulong Mountain from the city of Dandong, there is a military fuel supply base” from where “fuel is being exported into North Korea under the radar”.

This supply was intended solely for military use, said the source. It is not sure, however, whether trains move directly from the base into North Korea or whether there are other transportation methods involved.

It is still unclear how often trains travel in the area, and whether it is possible to transport the fuel by train undetected by the North Korean regime.

The source added that “North Korea’s crude oil refineries are sub-par and lack the effective technology. Instead, refined products are preferred.”


Reporting by Park, Sun-hwa.

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