North Korea

Tillerson Seeks To Turn Oil Tap Off For North Korea | OilPrice.com

15 Jun 2017   North Korea

The U.S. will focus its efforts on shutting off North Korea’s access to crude oil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday at a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing. In this, Washington will seek the assistance of other countries, Tillerson said.  Imposing sanctions on countries doing business with Pyongyang is another measure that is being considered by the State Department as a means of forcing North Korea to put an end to its nuclear and missile programs. Tillerson referred to these as “secondary sanctions”, which might mean that Russia would be a target. Russian exports to North Korea in the first two months of this year shot up by 149 percent, according to Russian media reports, while China banned coal exports to its belligerent neighbor.  Tillerson noted that the U.S. is working closely with China on the North Korean problem and that Beijing had “taken steps, visible steps that we can confirm,” in addressing the situation. China’s support is essential for the resolution of the North Korean problem as it provides 90 percent of North Korean imports, from crude oil and fuels to food.

Gas Prices In North Korea Shoot Up 83% As China Mulls Oil Embargo

25 Apr 2017   North Korea

Gasoline prices in North Korea’s capital Pyongyang jumped by as much as 83 percent within three days on the back of reports that China is mulling over an oil embargo for its unruly neighbor. North Korea imports almost all the oil it uses from China, so an embargo will effectively paralyze the country, even if Pyongyang turns to Russia for alternative supplies or resorts to smuggling—neither of which would provide North Korea with adequate supplies of the fuel, one analyst from the Asia Research Center at the Yanbian University said. Beijing has in recent months taken a tougher stance against Pyongyang, regional analysts note , but not because the U.S. is pushing it to do it, rather because an increasingly belligerent North Korea is a direct and potentially serious threat to China’s own national security. The change in stance is in fact a change in priorities, according to the […]

China Ready To Cut Oil Supplies To North Korea

14 Apr 2017   China, North Korea

Beijing’s patience with North Korea is wearing thin as Pyongyang continues to conduct nuclear missile tests. According to a state Chinese media outlet, Huanqui, China is considering a suspension of its crude oil exports to its neighbor should North Korea conduct a sixth nuclear test. North Korea depends on China for 90 percent of its crude oil supply, and stopping these will wreak havoc on the dictatorship, which China has been trying to avoid, since a regime collapse is likely to result in a massive influx of refugees. It has also opposed President Trump’s urging to penalize North Korea for the nuclear tests so far, but now it seems the mood is changing – having another nuclear neighbor is hardly China’s idea of a stable regional environment. Asia’s biggest economy also has other ways to make Kim Jong Un give up nuclear tests, such as stopping or reducing the […]

For North Korea, Cutting Off Oil Supplies Would Be Devastating

14 Apr 2017   North Korea

Isolated North Korea doesn’t consume much oil, but curbing or cutting off its supplies in retaliation for further nuclear or long-range missile tests would be painful and potentially destabilising to the regime of Kim Jong Un. U.S. officials have told Reuters that an oil embargo is among tougher sanctions Washington could pursue to counter North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs Separately, the Global Times, an influential Chinese tabloid whose stance does not necessarily reflect official policy, said in an editorial on Wednesday that “Chinese society” would approve of “severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before, such as restricting oil imports to the North,” if Pyongyang engages in further provocative activity. China, which supplies […]

China’s coal imports from North Korea ease after sanctions

25 Feb 2017   China, North Korea

China’s coal imports from North Korea eased last month after new U.N. Security Council sanctions curbing the isolated country’s sales abroad came into effect, while Russia, Mongolia, Australia and Indonesia raised shipments, data showed on Friday. January imports from North Korea eased 13 percent from a year earlier to 1.45 million tonnes, the data showed. They were down 28 percent from December. January’s volume accounted for almost 20 percent of the latest U.N. annual sales quota of 7.5 million tonnes or $400.9 million, whichever is smaller, on North Korea’s biggest export. The imports last month came before Beijing’s decision last Saturday to ban coal shipments entirely after Pyongyang tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile in its first […]

North Korea says China ‘dancing to the tune of the US’

24 Feb 2017   China, Coal, North Korea

Coal exports to China are a key source of cash for the politically isolated nation North Koreans look over coal exports in the border town of Siniuju N Korea condemns Kim death investigation ‘Hunt’ for refugees who helped Snowden Japan ‘baldies’ hold annual get-together

North Korea’s Regime In Jeopardy As China Bans Coal Imports

21 Feb 2017   China, Coal, North Korea

On Saturday, China said that it was suspending all imports of coal from North Korea as part of its effort to implement United Nations Security Council sanctions aimed at stopping the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic-missile program. The ban, according to a statement posted on the website of the Chinese Commerce Ministry, takes effect on today and will last until the end of the year. While China will hardly suffer material adverse impacts, Chinese trade – and aid – have long been a vital economic crutch for North Korea, and the decision strips North Korea of one of its most important sources of foreign currency. The ban comes six days after the North Korean test of a ballistic missile that the Security Council condemned as a violation of its resolutions that prohibited the country from developing and testing ballistic missile technology. In the test, – which took place during […]

China’s North Korea import ban the latest gyrating coal policy: Russell

20 Feb 2017   China, Coal, North Korea

Coal markets could be forgiven for feeling slightly confused about the recent signals coming out of top importer China, with both bullish and bearish developments in evidence. The most obvious bullish news relates mainly to coking coal used in steel-making, and like many announcements in China it’s political in nature. China said on Feb. 18 that it will suspend all imports of coal from its nuclear-armed neighbor North Korea until Dec. 31, a move that, if implemented, would bring a dramatic halt to cargoes from China’s fourth-biggest supplier of imported coal. The statement from the Ministry of Commerce was brief and didn’t go into reasons for the ban, although it came shortly after Pyongyang tested an intermediate-range ballistic […]

China’s October coal imports from North Korea up on month after falling in September

25 Nov 2016   China, North Korea

An employee walks between front-end loaders which are used to move coal imported from North Korea at Dandong port in the Chinese border city of Dandong, Liaoning province December 7, 2010. China’s coal imports from North Korea rose in October after falling more than a quarter in September from the previous month amid a push from the United States to punish North Korea for its recent nuclear test. Coal imports from North Korea climbed 1.22 percent in October to 1.82 million tonnes compared with September, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear test on Sept. 9, and said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile. China expressed anger with North Korea for the test, its largest to date. China’s coal imports from North Korea fell to 1.798 million tonnes that month from 2.465 million […]

U.S., China Said to Discuss Choking Off North Korea Energy

5 Oct 2016   China, North Korea

The U.S. and China are locked in negotiations over curbing North Korea’s energy trade in response to its fifth nuclear test last month, according to four diplomats from United Nations Security Council countries with direct knowledge of the talks. The world’s two biggest economies — both of whom can veto any resolution — are discussing restrictions on North Korea’s trade in coal, iron ore and crude oil, according to the diplomats, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Other nations also considering separate sanctions against North Korea once the Security Council acts, the diplomats said. The U.S. and its allies are seeking to further tighten sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime to prod him into abandoning a pursuit of nuclear weapons that has only intensified […]

North Korea Says It’s Facing Its Worst Drought in a Century

18 Jun 2015   North Korea

North Korea is in the midst of a severe drought, its state news agency reported, raising fears of worsening food shortages in the impoverished country, where child malnutrition is a persistent problem. “The worst drought in 100 years continues in the D.P.R.K., causing great damage to its agricultural field,” the Korean Central News Agency said in a report late Tuesday, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There was no evidence that the drought was the worst in a century. But United Nations officials recently expressed growing concern about the lack of rain. In April , the United Nations called for $111 million to fund its humanitarian operations in North Korea, saying that 70 percent of the country’s 25 million people were “food insecure.” Much of the Korean Peninsula has had unusually dry weather in recent weeks, at […]

Putin mulls gas pipeline to South Korea through North Korea

MOSCOW, Nov. 13 (UPI) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said the best option for a pipeline to deliver natural gas from Russia to South Korea is a land route through North Korea. “It is much cheaper and safer, of course, to construct a land pipeline, political problems put aside,” he said in a Tuesday interview with the Korean Broadcasting System. “Should this [pipeline] be realized, [the overland route] would certainly be the optimal solution.” Russian natural gas company Gazprom backed away from an option to build a pipeline through the ocean in 2012, the Platts energy news service reported Tuesday. Putin, in his interview, said it was too expensive to build that type of pipeline because of the depth of the region’s waters. Putin said he wasn’t trying to interfere directly in lingering tensions on the Korean Peninsula but if both sides can agree on the terms of a […]