North Korea

China confirms will limit oil exports to North Korea

25 Sep 2017   China, North Korea

China will limit exports of refined petroleum products to North Korea starting October 1, its commerce ministry said, confirming Beijing’s participation in new UN sanctions intended to rein in its rogue neighbour. The United Nations Security Council, including permanent member Beijing, approved tough sanctions against Pyongyang last week in response to its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. Washington had initially sought a full oil embargo, but softened its stance to secure backing from Russia and China — the North’s sole ally and main trading partner, responsible for around 90 percent of its commerce. In a statement posted to its website late Friday night, the ministry reiterated the terms of the latest resolution, writing that UN member states would not export more than 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products to the North in the final three months of 2017, and 2 million annually starting next year. ‘Chinese government authorities […]

China to Cut Oil Exports to North Korea

23 Sep 2017   China, North Korea

Petrol tankers queue up to transport crude oil at an oil-refining plant in China, a major oil supplier to North Korea. BEIJING—China said it will reduce oil exports to North Korea in accordance with United Nations sanctions , squeezing an important source of economic support as Pyongyang pushes to build up its nuclear arsenal. Starting Jan. 1, exports of refined petroleum to North Korea will be limited to 2 million barrels a year, while exports of natural gas will be banned entirely, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement posted on its website late Friday. China will also ban textile imports from North Korea, the ministry said, cutting off another key source of revenue for Pyongyang after Beijing banned imports of North Korean coal earlier this year. U.S. officials say North Korea earned $760 million last year by exporting textiles, the last major economic sector that hadn’t yet been […]

North Korea fuel prices soar after U.N. sanctions capping supply

18 Sep 2017   North Korea

(Reuters) – Gasoline and diesel prices rose sharply in North Korea after its sixth nuclear test and as the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions capping fuel supply, market data analyzed by Reuters on Monday showed. The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Sept. 11 banning exports of condensates and natural gas liquids to the North and capping the annual supply of refined petroleum products at two million barrels and crude at its current levels. The price of gasoline sold by private dealers in the capital Pyongyang and northern border cities of Sinuiju and Hyesan spiked to $2.51 per kg as of Sept. 13, up 45.1 percent from $1.73 per kg on Sept. 5, according to Reuters analysis of data compiled by the Daily NK website. The website is run by North Korean defectors who collect prices via phone calls with traders in the North. Diesel prices also […]

UN resolution to cap N Korea oil supplies welcomed but analysts skeptical

13 Sep 2017   North Korea

The resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council on Monday against North Korea should slash oil supplies to the isolated nation by 30% — a level which would have significant impact on the country — but is unlikely to have much impact on regional supply and demand balances, while monitoring of the compliance will be a major challenge. “The key issue is monitoring,” said Yonghun Jung, adjunct professor in the energy systems department at South Korea’s Ajou University. “A transparent, accountable and traceable monitoring inflows of crude and oil products into North Korea is very important now and for the future, as so far we have not had access to actual trade data.” “However, it will be difficult to monitor all crude oil and oil products trades over borders between North Korea and China as well as North Korea and Russia,” said Jung, who was formerly a counselor […]

Exxon Mobil’s deal to cut India LNG prices is actually quite good: Russell

12 Sep 2017   North Korea

Exxon Mobil’s deal to cut the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplied under long-term contract to an Indian buyer has largely been viewed as a bad outcome for producers of the super-chilled fuel. Certainly the trade made by Exxon to supply more LNG to Petronet LNG, but at a lower price, does seem to favor the Indian utility. Exxon will increase the volume supplied from its share of the Chevron-led Gorgon project in Western Australia by 1 million tonnes a year to about 2.5 million tonnes, but at a lower cost than originally agreed in 2009. The revised deal has sparked market speculation that this is the first domino to fall, and that more re-negotiations of long-term LNG […]

U.S. Is Said to Seek a Ban on Crude Oil to North Korea at UN

9 Sep 2017   North Korea

U.S. needs Chinese, Russian support for new UN restrictions Russian leader says oil sanctions could hurt ordinary people The U.S. is circulating a draft resolution at the United Nations that would bar crude oil shipments to North Korea, ban the nation’s exports of textiles and prohibit employment of its guest workers by other countries, according to a diplomat at the world body. The proposal, which also calls for freezing the assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been circulated to the 15 members of the Security Council, according to the diplomat, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. The U.S. has said it wants the council to take up tougher sanctions at a meeting Sept. 11. The bid for the toughest penalties yet against North Korea comes despite renewed warnings against such moves by the leaders of China and Russia, which have veto power in […]

China Declares Support For Punitive Action Against North Korea

8 Sep 2017   China, North Korea

The United States has proposed an oil embargo against North Korea enforced by the United Nations after Pyongyang authorized nuclear tests that violated several UN resolutions. Yi encouraged the global community to reach a consensus on a strategy to deescalate the North Korean nuclear program and eventually invite Pyongyang into international diplomatic circles. In additional to the oil embargo, the U.S. wants to see North Korean textiles exports banned and create a barrier to the hiring of North Korean workers abroad, Reuters said. North Korea depends on China for 90 percent of its crude oil supply. Stopping shipments to its neighbor will wreak havoc on Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship, which China has been trying to avoid. A regime collapse is likely to result in a massive influx of refugees. Beijing has also opposed President Donald Trump’s push to penalize North Korea for the nuclear tests so far, but the […]

US imposes new sanctions on North Korean oil, coal trade

23 Aug 2017   North Korea, USA

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced new sanctions in response to North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile tests, including penalties aimed at shutting down coal and oil flows into and out of North Korea. The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 16 companies and individuals accused of supporting North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and participating in North Korean energy trades. “Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and isolating them from the American financial system,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. The sanctions come amid increasing global pressure to isolate North Korea, including a embargo on oil flows into the country. In Seoul Tuesday, a US congressional delegation, including Senators Ed Markey, Massachusetts-Democrat, and Chris Van Hollen, Maryland-Democrat, called for a ban on energy exports from China […]

China July trade with North Korea slows from June as coal ban bites

23 Aug 2017   China, Coal, North Korea

China’s trade with North Korea fell in July from a month earlier, data showed on Wednesday, as a ban on coal purchases from its isolated neighbor slowed imports amid growing pressure from the United States to rein in Pyongyang’s missile program. The world’s second-largest economy imported and exported goods worth $456 million in July, down from $489 million in June, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. It was up from $426 million in July last year, according to data on the customs website. Year-to-date, trade was up 10.2 percent at $3.01 billion. The data indicates that China’s move to halt North Korean coal imports in February has crimped Pyongyang’s ability to raise hard currency through exports. Iron ore arrivals from North Korea in […]

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil sales

17 Jul 2017   China, North Korea

Gasoline and diesel prices surged in North Korea in the weeks after a Chinese state oil company suspended fuel sales to the reclusive state, according to data reviewed by Reuters and an interview with a North Korean defector. China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a state-controlled company, halted diesel and gasoline sales to North Korea “over the last month or two”, amid international pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs, Reuters exclusively reported on June 28. Scrutiny of China’s commercial ties with its isolated neighbor intensified further following North Korea’s first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile two weeks ago. The price of gasoline sold by private dealers in Pyongyang and the northern border cities of Sinuiju and Hyesan jumped to $2.18 per kg ($2.92 per liter) as of July 5, up 50 percent from $1.46 per kg on June 21, according to Reuters […]

IEA: improving efficiency of road-freight transport critical to reduce oil-demand growth; three areas of focus

Improving the efficiency of road-freight transport is critical to reducing the growth in oil demand, carbon emissions and air pollution over the next decades, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest report, The Future of Trucks: Implications for energy and the environment . Although trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport-fuel consumption and emissions, the sector receives far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles, the IEA noted. Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with some 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standards. Yet the growth in oil demand from trucks has outpaced all other sectors—including passenger cars, aviation, industry and petrochemical feedstocks—since 2000 and contributed 40% to global oil demand growth, a similar contribution as cars. Today, trucks account for almost a fifth of global oil demand, or around 17 million barrels per day—equivalent to the combined oil production of the United […]

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 […]