06:10 GMT14 August 2020
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    Beijing has rejected claims that it has illicitly sold oil supplies to North Korea in contravention of UN resolutions, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, disputing earlier claims by US President Donald Trump.

    Responding to Trump's claim that China had been "caught red-handed" transferring oil to North Korean vessels, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday that "the recent series of reports on this situation do not conform with the facts."

    Beijing, Hua emphasized, did not allow "citizens or companies to engage in any activities that violate" UN resolutions, and would deal with any such violations seriously and in accordance with the law.

    On Thursday, Donald Trump tweeted that he was "very disappointed" that China was "allowing oil to go to North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" he wrote, referring to the ongoing standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

    Earlier this week, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo newspaper wrote, quoting an anonymous "government source," that US spy satellites had detected Chinese vessels transferring oil to North Korean ships on nearly 30 occasions over the last three months. US officials have yet to confirm the claims made in the newspaper.

    Hua refuted Chosun Ilbo's claims Wednesday, saying that Beijing had no information on the issue, and adding that her country "completely and strictly" implements UN sanctions.

    The Korean Peninsula is in the midst of a diplomatic and military crisis, triggered by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and by ongoing intensified US and South Korean military drills in the region. Russia and China have emphasized the need for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, calling on Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear ambitions, for Washington and Seoul to cut down on provocative exercises near North Korea's borders, and for both sides to sit down at the negotiating table.


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    claims, Oil, sales, Hua Chunying, Donald Trump, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), China, United States, South Korea
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