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>> Reuters reporting exclusively that tankers from Russia have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months, providing an economic lifeline to the hermit kingdom. That's according to two senior Western European security sources, who tell Reuters that Russian vessels made ship-to-ship fuel transfers at sea with North Korean vessels, in breach of UN sanctions.
The report comes after China, on Friday, denied it had illegally shipped oil products to North Korea, responding to a tweet from President Trump in which he said, China had been caught red-handed selling oil to the DPRK. Reuters was unable to independently verify the fuel transfers between Russia and North Korea, or whether the Russian State knew about the sales of oil.
North Korea relies on imported fuel to keep its struggling economy functioning. It also requires oil for its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear programs. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea this month, following a November missile test experts said was Pyongyang's most advanced yet.