On the DPRK’s oil imports (March 2013)

According to Yonhap:

China’s exports of crude oil to North Korea rose 8.2 percent last month from a year earlier, a report said Wednesday.

China shipped 106,000 tons of crude oil to the North in March, the Washington-based Voice of America (VOA) said, citing data by China’s customs.

The total volume of crude oil export from China to North Korea during the first three months of this year reached 159,000 tons, up 6.7 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

The news outlet confirmed previous media reports that China did not export crude oil to the North in February, which was attributed to the superpower’s tightened implementation of economic sanctions on the communist country for its third nuclear test on Feb. 12.

VOA said, however, that China, the North’s closest ally, had no records of crude oil exports to the North in February in 2012 and 2011.

According to China’s customs, the country shipped a total of 523,000 tons of crude oil to the North in 2012, 526,000 tons in 2011 and 528,000 tons in 2010.

Besides official trade, China is believed to have ship an additional 500,000 tons every year in crude oil assistance to the North.

There are also media reports that Iran is planning on selling oil to the DPRK. According to RT News:

Tehran and Pyongyang are in talks about possible exports of Iranian oil to North Korea, Iran’s oil ministry said on Saturday.

“We have had, and continue to have, negotiations with the North Koreans who have requested to buy Iranian oil. We are discussing the procedure and we don’t have any problem selling them oil,” Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told a briefing at an International oil and gas exhibition in Tehran.

The minister admitted that Iran was feeling the strain of sanctions imposed on the country by foreign governments, but said it would not get in the way of the transportation of its oil to “any country, in any part of the world,” AP cites.

A delegation from North Korea is among the participants of the expo in the Iranian capital. A Tehran-Pyongyang oil deal would further develop ties increase between the two states – which are both at odds with the US and the West over their respective nuclear programs and have both been sanctioned over the issue.

Read the full stories here:
China’s crude oil exports to N. Korea up 8.2 pct in March
Yonhap
2013-4-24

Iran plans oil exports to North Korea
RT
2013-4-20

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