U.S. Says North Korea Illegally Imports Oil Products


Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un pictured during their summit in Singapore on June 12.

Trump suggested on Monday that China, North Korea's neighbor and main trading partner, might be seeking to derail US efforts aimed at denuclearizing North Korea, but said he was confident that Kim Jong Un would uphold the pact the two agreed in Singapore.

The North Korean statement went on to say, however, that Kim's regime still had confidence in Trump.

The United States requested the UN sanctions committee to declare that North Korea had violated the UN-approved quota and "order an immediate halt to all transfers of refined petroleum products" to North Korea.

It comes after Mr Trump released a "very nice note" from Mr Kim, signalling his optimism about efforts to end the nuclear stand-off with North Korea.

In another development on Thursday, North Korean officials failed to turn up for talks with a USA team on the repatriation of the remains of American soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean war.

The US intelligence report sent to the United Nations sanctions committee estimated that ship-to-ship transfers may have provided North Korea with as much as 1,367,628 barrels of refined products.

North Korea, meanwhile, lashed out at Washington for presenting "gangster-like demands" for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.

Meanwhile, it is yet to be seen whether North Korea will show up for the talks a day after the scheduled date. "It is weird to claim progress in a week when USA teams have been ignored and insulted by North Korea", he said in an email.

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A scheduled meeting between North Korean and USA officials on Thursday in the demilitarised zone between the two Koreas to discuss the return of the remains was postponed to Sunday.

Despite Pompeo's claims that his meetings in Pyongyang last week were productive, the North Korean news agency quoted unnamed DPRK officials as saying the meetings were bad and that United States demands for denuclearization were "robber-like" (the media has translated this as "gangster").

The letter was dated just one day before North Korea accused the US of "gangster-like" demands following a visit and talks by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Both the USA and the North are still in discussion over when to meet", the official added.

At the conclusion of the Singapore summit last month, Trump suggested he may invite Kim to the White House, or his retreat at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

He also told supporters in Nevada that North Korea had already handed over 200 sets of remains.

Their meeting - the first between a sitting United States president and North Korea, led to claims that the latter would work towards dumping its nuclear weapons.

North Korean and U.S. teams, as well as United Nations officials, had been due to discuss the details of repatriation.

The Pentagon has shipped dozens of cases to Panmunjom in anticipation of receiving the remains of several US troops.