US president accuses China of illegal oil transfer to North Korea
30 December 2017
US President Donald Trump has lashed out at China for supposedly failing to implement United Nations sanctions on North Korea. South Korea announced yesterday it had seized a Hong Kong-flagged ship, the Lighthouse Winmore, which allegedly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in contravention of UN bans.
Trump provocatively tweeted: “Caught RED HANDED—very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!”
The Trump administration has ratcheted up UN sanctions, and unilateral US bans, on the Pyongyang regime in a campaign of “maximum pressure” to compel North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. In contrast to this supposedly “friendly solution,” the president has threatened again and again to take military action against Pyongyang if it does not fall into line.
Trump’s denunciation of Beijing again demonstrates that the targeting of North Korea over its nuclear arsenal is aimed more broadly against China. The latest US National Security Strategy identifies China, along with Russia, as a major threat to American global dominance. The US military build-up in Asia against North Korea is also in preparation for war against China.
The latest Trump tweet smacks of a contrived provocation aimed at further ramping up tensions with China and North Korea. While South Korean officials announced the seizure of the Lighthouse Winmore, the information is more than a month old, and its release was clearly orchestrated in collaboration with Washington.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying flatly denied that China had anything to do with…