G7, EU to urge China to help stop North Korea from evading UN sanctions: report – Xinhua English.news.cn – News Block

The Group of Seven, the European Union and three other countries plan to ask China for help to prevent North Korea from evading United Nations sanctions by using Chinese territorial waters, according to their letter seen by Reuters on Friday.

“We are concerned about the continued presence of multiple oil tankers… using their territorial waters in Sansha Bay as a haven to facilitate their trade in sanctioned oil products to the DPRK,” said the letter to be sent to China’s UN ambassador Zhang Jun.

The letter, signed by G7 members the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain, as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the European Union, will provide satellite images that “clearly indicate that these practices continued to occur within China’s jurisdiction in 2022 and have continued in 2023.”

North Korea, formally called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has been under UN sanctions over its missile and nuclear programs since 2006. This includes an annual cap on its crude and refined oil imports, imposed in 2017.

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UN sanctions monitors have also long accused North Korea of ​​evading the measures, including by continuing illicit imports of refined oil and exports of coal.

The Security Council has also blacklisted several ships for violating sanctions. Satellite images to be provided to China show some of those ships using its territorial waters.

“We again encourage the Chinese government to do more to identify and prevent these ships from anchoring or loitering in Chinese territorial waters,” the letter said.

UN Security Council Division

It also calls “that China inspect the vessels for evidence of illicit oil smuggling, deny them all services, and ultimately expel them from its waters as quickly as possible, if these vessels are found to be anchored in Sansha Bay again.”

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The letter requests that China tell companies in the area that if they provide services to these vessels, they “not only expose themselves to the risk of sanctions, but also risk being publicly identified as contributing to sanctions evasion.”

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China has repeatedly said that it complies with UN Security Council sanctions resolutions. It was not immediately clear when the letter would be sent to Zhang.

“All parties should fully implement the DPRK-related Security Council resolutions, especially the provisions related to the resumption of dialogue and political settlement, which should not be selectively ignored,” Zhang told a council last week at a meeting on North Korea’s latest missile launch.

For the past several years, the council has been divided on how to deal with Pyongyang. Russia and China, veto powers along with the United States, Britain and France, have said more sanctions will not help and want such measures eased.

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North Korea has tested dozens of ballistic missiles in the past 18 months, and the United States has long warned that Pyongyang is ready for a seventh nuclear test.

Pyongyang says it is exercising its right to self-defense with its ballistic missile tests to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests from military threats.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Richard Chang)

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