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North Korea’s imports of oil from China and Russia are going to military units

North Korea is increasing oil supplies to naval units based in Nampo and Nason as the nation imports massive amounts of petroleum from China and Russia. The North Korean authorities are also expanding oil storage facilities in Nampo.

“[The authorities] have been intensively supplying peacetime and wartime oil to naval units in Nampo and Nason since mid-April,” said a source in the North Korean military on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In particular, sailors of the West Sea Fleet and civilian work brigades have been building additional oil tanks and tanker berths in Nampo since late January.”

The source said these moves are in response to an order from Pyongyang to store the massive amount of oil imported from Russia — received in return for weapon exports — and China at additional facilities in Nampo, as well as at existing facilities in the city. This seems to be part of the country’s efforts to expand its capacity to store oil, imports of which have grown this year.

“Two companies from the West Sea Fleet’s engineering battalion and civilian work brigades have been mobilized to build more oil tanks in Nampo,” the source said. “The plan is to complete the work by this autumn and build several more next year.”

According to the source, North Korea distributes only about 5% of the imported oil to official markets or other consumer outlets. The authorities plan to store or use the other 95% for military purposes.

“About 70% of the oil is going to Nampo while 25% is going to Nason,” the source said. “In Nampo’s case in particular, its share of oil supplies climbed from 45% to 70%.”

He added, “Naval units are undertaking organized efforts to transport oil from May to September per an order from the oil bureau of the Ministry of Defense’s Rear Services General Bureau.”

“The West Sea Fleet headquarters in Nampo, Navy headquarters in Pyongyang and East Sea Fleet headquarters in South Hamgyong Province had been receiving oil in the ports of Nampo, Hungnam, Songnim and Nason, but this year, the authorities have been focusing on supplying oil to Nampo,” the source said.

The increased oil supply to naval units and the construction of oil storage facilities in Nampo suggest that North Korea is importing oil in amounts that violate U.N. Security Council sanctions.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2397, adopted in 2017, restricts North Korea’s import of crude oil to 4 million barrels annually and refined oil to 500,000.

This is to say, if China and Russia are supplying North Korea with oil in excess of the ceilings set by the U.N. Security Council, and if oil is actually entering North Korea through Nampo and elsewhere in amounts that exceed UN Security Council limits, this could be regarded as a clear violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

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Read in Korean

May 22, 2024 at 07:30AM

by DailyNK(North Korean Media)

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