(OILPRICE.COM) – Russia and China are blocking a U.S. effort at the United Nations to halt all deliveries of refined oil products to North Korea amid charges that Pyongyang is smuggling fuel into the country, diplomats say.
The move on July 19 by Russia and China came after Washington last week asked a UN Security Council sanctions committee to ban further shipments on the grounds that fuel smuggling has enabled North Korea to already exceed a UN-imposed cap on its fuel imports for the year.
Under a UN sanctions resolution adopted last year, crude oil supplies to North Korea were limited to 4 million barrels per year, with a ceiling of 500,000 barrels put on refined oil products.
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The cutoff of fuel has been primarily enforced by China, which supplies North Korea with most of its energy needs, but also Russia, which has delivered some oil to Pyongyang.
The United States last week sent a report to the sanctions committee saying that North Korea had secured at least 759,793 barrels of oil products through ship-to-ship transfers at sea, according to documents seen by AP and AFP.