The White House/Wikimedia
After a report claimed China bypassed sanctions on North Korea, President Donald Trump warned that type of behavior would block a “friendly solution to the North Korea problem”:
Caught RED HANDED – very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2017
“Caught RED HANDED,” Trump said, before expressing his disappointment with the Chinese. Both China and the United Nations slapped strict sanctions on economic activity with North Korea after its many provocative missile tests.
But according to South Korean government sources, satellite imagery revealed Chinese and North Korean ships engaging in illegal oil trading.
The images emerged just after the United Nations Security Council issued a fresh round of sanctions against the rogue regime. China joined the unanimous decision to restrict oil and petroleum trading with North Korea.
— Daily Express (@Daily_Express) December 28, 2017
In September, the Chinese government told its companies to sever ties with North Korea and ordered North Korean companies in the country to shut down.
It’s unclear whether companies heeded those orders given that the United States Treasury imposed new sanctions against Chinese trading companies in November due to their relationship with North Korea.
As South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo noted, ship-to-ship trading violates a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in September.
China, according to Reuters, denied that the allegedly illegal activity ever took place.
Trump’s tweet came amid ongoing and growing tension between the international community, particularly the United States, and North Korea.
Both the U.S. and North Korea have indicated that recent activity brought the two sides closer to armed conflict. After the U.S. conducted a joint military exercise with South Korea in December, North Korea suggested war was inevitable.
“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” its foreign ministry asked.
Despite the United States’s continued efforts to apply economic pressure to deter the regime’s nuclear and missile activity, it launched a ballistic missile as recently as the end of November.