|China holding up shipment of Iranian petroleum to North Korea: report||
TEHRAN – China is holding petroleum that was heading to North Korea from Iran, the Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun quoted informed Chinese sources on Sunday.
According to Chinese sources, the petroleum was part of North Korea’s contract to import about 500,000 tons of condensate, a light oil, from Iran. North Korea, seeking to diversify its energy sources, started discussions on the deal last year.
Chinese authorities ordered the tankers to stop when they reached the Chinese coast in the Yellow Sea this spring, the report said.
China is believed to have asked North Korea to pay about $2 million (about 196 million yen) for storage expenses, it added.
“Once China realized that North Korea was beginning to depend on Iran for petroleum, China began using various measures to remain engaged so it can maintain its influence over North Korea,” a diplomatic source knowledgeable about relations between China and North Korea said.
It is unclear what legal basis China is using for holding up the shipments because condensate and other petroleum products needed for daily living are not banned under UN economic sanctions imposed against North Korea.
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader