N.Korea 'Exports Coal Through Russian Network'

  • By Cho Yi-jun

    August 08, 2018 13:08

    North Korea has evaded sanctions since 2016 by exporting its coal disguised as Russian product and receiving payment in installments, U.S. broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported Monday.

    When the UN banned coal exports, the North took a 30 percent deposit from coal importers beforehand in case shipments were confiscated at sea, a source in the Chinese city of Dandong told RFA.

    The North took another 30 percent when a ship sailed to an importing country from a Russian port, and the rest when the shipments reached a port in the importing country. Pyongyang used bank accounts of Chinese companies and paid fees for the service, the source added.

    The UNSC capped North Korea's coal exports at 7.5 million tons a year in November 2016 and banned them completely in August last year. But since then shipments have made their way even into South Korean ports disguised as Russian product.

    A source in North Pyongan Province said North Korean trading firms would first ship their coal to the Russian ports of Nakhodka and Vladivostok and doctor documents.

    After U.S. and international sanctions were imposed, the North moved its coal storage yards from Nampo and Songnim, which are close to China, to Chongjin and Wonsan, which are nearer to Russia, he said.

    When North Korean coal arrives at Nakhodka, a Russian company was busy preparing documents to disguise it as Russian product. One of them was Greenwich, which did the job for a fee of US$2 per ton.

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