According to a VOA investigation, the United Nations’ reporting system on North Korea’s refined oil supply has loopholes. The Chinese regime is suspected of providing oil to North Korea despite the United Nations’ restrictions on supplying refined oil products to Pyongyang.

The United Nations Security Council’s Resolution No. 2397, which passed in 2017, stipulates North Korea’s total refined oil imports should not exceed 500,000 barrels per year.

According to the investigation from VOA, the Chinese authorities have not reported the types of petroleum products exported to North Korea. They have only provided the total number in tons. As a result, the United Nations cannot know whether North Korea’s total annual oil imports exceed the 500,000-barrel cap.

The investigation found that the Chinese regime has not submitted the required monthly reports since September. Instead, they only sent a one-off report to the United Nations two weeks ago. It provided monthly figures from September 2021 to February of this year, and it didn’t provide all the details.

VOA quoted United Nations officials saying that China submitted the new report without mentioning how the products were shipped to North Korea or providing specific information on the entities involved in those deliveries.

Su Ziyun, a scholar at the Taiwan Institute of National Defense Security, said that its weight and volume are not in agreement on if this energy is fuel oil, diesel oil, or gasoline. So if the declared item is wrong, this will make miscalculations because errors will occur on fuel oil or diesel and gasoline. The problem is still in Beijing because the quantity it declared does not match the item.

According to the United Nations Security Council, the countries supplying refined oil products to North Korea after the sanctions took effect were China and Russia. However, Russia stopped supplying these products to North Korea in 2021, so China is currently the sole supplier of refined oil products to North Korea. Though the Chinese regime always denies the accusation, North Korea still has oil to use.

Su Ziyun said that because North Korea shares a border with China, the outside world has long questioned whether China smuggles refined oil products to North Korea via sea or across the land border.

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