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Japan’s Asia Press International (API) identifies “massive amounts” of Russian oil entering North Korea from Russia.

Russia is not only ignoring international efforts against North Korea, Russia is blatantly aiding North Korea.

On September 11, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution banning exports of condensates and natural gas liquids to North Korea and capping the annual supply of refined petroleum products at two million barrels per year. The price of fuel had reportedly skyrocketed in North Korea following the implementation of the sanctions, Breitbart reports.

Providing North Korea with oil is Russia’s way of rejecting the U.S. approach to pressuring North Korea.

“The Russian authorities are also generally against the U.S.’s policy of maximum pressure on North Korea, believing that the policy has caused Pyongyang to accelerate their nuclear and missile program,” he explained. “Instead of further sanctions, Moscow favors immediate dialogue with North Korea.

Given the limited scope of the resolution, however, Russia is legally permitted to sell some oil to North Korea.

“It is no secret that Russia supplies North Korea with oil. In fact, Russia is perfectly entitled to do so,” James Brown, a Russia and Japan expert focusing on energy politics at Temple University, told Newsweek. “This is because Russia ensured that no cuts to crude oil supplies were mandated in the sanctions adopted on 11 September.”

The price of diesel oil and gasoline in North Korea has dropped sharply in the last month, according to reports from within the isolated republic, with Russia stepping up oil supplies in spite of international efforts to isolate the regime of Kim Jong Un and force Pyongyang to abandon its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles.

Reports put the price of one kilogram of diesel oil at $0.82 now, down 60% from early November, while gasoline is being sold for around $2 per one kilogram, down 25%.

The sharp declines come despite increasingly stiff sanctions imposed on Pyongyang, including measures designed specifically to limit the amount of fuel that North Korea can obtain. Resolution 2375, adopted by the United Nations Security Council shortly after the North’s sixth underground nuclear test on September 3, singled out fuel supplies for sanctions, and the U.S. government has since stepped up its calls for China to halt the flow of oil over the border.

API’s correspondents claims, however, that “massive amounts” of fuel are coming into the border province of Yanggang from Russia.

“It is difficult to know exactly how much fuel is getting into North Korea, but it does appear that Russia has recently been supplying Pyongyang with fuel,” said James Brown, an associate professor of international relations and an expert on Russia-North Korean trade at the Tokyo campus of Temple University.

“It appears that Russia, in particular, but also China, are losing patience with the U.S.,” he told Deutsche Welle. “They feel that they have done their part in putting new pressure on North Korea but that Washington should be doing more.”

While Beijing and Moscow supported sanctions in the autumn, North Korea went for more than two months without launching any missiles, Brown points out. Yet Washington made it clear that it was going ahead with joint U.S.-South Korea air exercises, which began in South Korean air space on Monday.

 When the U.S. confirmed that the largest ever joint air exercises — 230 aircraft practicing attacks on North Korea’s nuclear facilities and missiles bases — would proceed as planned, Pyongyang resumed missile launches.

The intercontinental ballistic missile launched on Nov. 29 is understood to have a range of around 13,000 km, putting anywhere in the U.S. within range.

“Russia may very well feel that the U.S. provoked the most recent missile test by the North and it is not at all clear that Beijing and Moscow will help cut off all fuel supplies because that that represents the ‘nuclear option’ that would really hurt the North,” Brown said.

“And while that is exactly what the U.S. wants, Russia is extremely wary of the consequences of the North collapsing,” he added.

Moscow’s concerns include conflict breaking out on its Far East border, a sudden influx of vast numbers of refugees or a civil war in the North in which numerous players are vying to win control of the country’s nuclear weapons.

 Huny Badger is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.



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