China helps smuggle illegal oil into North Korea

According to new satellite imagery obtained by The New York Times, China has allowed the Sin Kang and similar tankers that violated U.N. sanctions to use its infrastructure and territorial waters in order to smuggle oil into North Korea. China’s actions undermine international U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

The newspaper reported Thursday that the U.N. Security Council has asked member states to seize vessels in their territories believed to be in violation of sanctions, including the Sin Kang. While China has supported U.N. Security Council resolutions to restrict North Korean fuel imports, satellite footage shows it has been intentionally turning a blind eye to the violations.

Satellite images show the Shinkong on a river in the eastern Chinese coastal city of Ningde on Jan. 1, 2021, and China’s hands-off approach to North Korea-linked tankers can be seen in Sansha Bay, 30 miles southeast of the Ningde shipyard. The area has become a Home base for North Korea-linked tankers.

The report also said that in the past year, North Korea has expanded its oil infrastructure with the construction of a new oil terminal at the major port of Nampo. Chinese oil tankers regularly berth there to deliver oil.