Report: Russia Set Up Secret Oil Shipments to North Korea
A South Korean research group says Russia exported more oil to North Korea than previously reported.
A new report by the Seoul-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies suggests Russia set up a secret trading system to get around United Nations economic sanctions on North Korea.
The report centers on the activities of Russia's Independent Petroleum Company (IPC). IPC was targeted by the U.S. Treasury Department in June 2017 for violating restrictions on oil exports to North Korea.
IPC was found to have sold large amounts of oil to Russian-linked companies, the report says. Some of the companies were used to cover up the oil exports to North Korea by falsifying information about which countries the supplies were shipped to.
The report says one North Korean state company was found to have bought nearly 623,000 tons of Russian oil worth $238 million between 2015 and 2017. The Asan group said it discovered the information in Russian customs documents.
But the Korea International Trade Association in Seoul had reported only about $25 million in Russian oil sales between 2015 and 2017.
The report says the U.S. State Department estimates North Korea has been importing around 4 million barrels of crude oil and 4.5 million barrels of processed oil each year. And China is North Korea's main oil supplier.
Go Myong-Hyun is a North Korea expert with Asan. He says smuggling has always been an important part of cross-border trading between North Korea and its close allies. He said, "What the Chinese government - and the Russian government to a lesser extent - have been doing, is to turn a blind eye to these activities."
More violations of international sanctions
The information from Asan came after a report in the Wall Street Journal accused Russia of possibly violating international sanctions another way. That report said Russia issued work permits to more than 10,000 North Korean laborers since September to work in Russia.
U.N. sanctions put in place in September of 2017 ban member countries from "providing work authorization" permits to North Korean workers.
Russian officials denied the newspaper report. Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said she found the story "credible." She said "reports of Russia violating U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korean laborers working abroad are deeply troubling."
In December of 2017, the U.N. Security Council strengthened the sanctions. They cut North Korean oil imports by about one third, while placing a total export ban on coal and other mineral industries. The sanctions also affected $800 million in North Korean clothing manufacturing, as well as the country's seafood industry.
There are signs the international sanctions have severely harmed North Korea's economy over the past year. The Bank of Korea has estimated the sanctions banned about 90 percent of the country's trade.
The restrictions aim to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised to work toward denuclearization during his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.set up 建立；成立
I set up a ginger group on the environment.
2.as well as 和...一样
The criticisms are founded on facts as well as on convictions.
3.oil imports 石油进口
We buy everything abroad with the money earned from oil imports.
4.give up 放弃
He is thinking of giving up teaching.
5.U.N. sanctions put in place in September of 2017 ban member countries from "providing work authorization" permits to North Korean workers.
put in place 落实到位；正在实施
They're offended by the elaborate security measures the police have put in place.
The restrictions have been put in place, after a five-day national strike.
6.The Russian government to a lesser extent - have been doing, is to turn a blind eye to these activities."
turn a blind eye to 对...视而不见
Those children have enjoyed a good life and they seem to turn a blind eye to patriotism.
How much happiness we turn a blind eye to, but we are shut out by the minimal pain.
郭明贤（Go Myong-Hyun）是峨山政策研究院的朝鲜问题专家。他说，走私一直是朝鲜及其亲密盟友间的跨境贸易的重要组成部分 。他说，“其亲密盟友在一定程度上对这些活动视而不见 。”
俄罗斯官员否认了这一报道。上周，美国驻联合国大使尼基·黑利（Nikki Haley）表示，她发现这篇报道是可信的 。她指出，“这篇俄罗斯违反联合国安理会关于朝鲜海外劳工决议的的报道令人深感不安 。”
2017年12月，联合国安理会加强了这些制裁。他们削减了朝鲜约1/3的石油进口，同时全面禁止煤炭和其它矿产的出口 。制裁还影响了朝鲜价值8亿美元的服装制造和海鲜行业 。