At least six cargo ships linked to China furtively violated UN sanctions by taking on North Korean coal late last year, potentially providing a significant boost to the rogue regime's coffers, the US alleges.
The UN Security Council in August hit North Korea with sanctions that were projected to cut nearly $1 billion from its annual exports revenue of roughly $3 billion, banning exports of coal, iron ore, and other products.
The move, which China ultimately endorsed, came after the isolated country fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles that raised international tensions, says Fox News.
But the six vessels, which the US tracked by satellite and formally reported to the UN as sanctions violators in December, defied the sanctions by bringing North Korean coal to Vietnam, Russia, or other ships in mid-sea transfers, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US officials.
The paper found that the six ships are either managed or owned by Chinese companies or firms registered in Hong Kong.
The US also sought to have four other ships that have no apparent connections to China labelled as sanctions violators.
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