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White House Claims Russia Violating Oil Embargo on North Korea

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. AP
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. AP

On Thursday, the White House accused Russia of exporting oil to North Korea in excess of what is permitted under United Nations sanctions.

The allegations came on the day after enforcement mechanisms related to Pyongyang’s nuclear program expired because of a Russian Security Council veto.

"At the same time that Moscow vetoed the panel's mandate renewal, Russia has been shipping refined petroleum from Port Vostochny to the DPRK," White House national security spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.

According to Kirby, Moscow sent 165,000 barrels to the Stalinist dictatorship in March alone, when the sanctions placed an annual limit of 500,000. The spokesperson then suggested that the monthly volume could be sustained indefinitely due to the geographical location of the two countries.

The alleged illicit trade comes as reports have indicated that the Russian military is becoming reliant on North Korean assistance as it fights its war in Ukraine.

South Korean intelligence services have stated that North Korea has shipped at least 7,000 containers of munitions and logistical materials for use by Russia in the Ukrainian war zone. This assessment has been confirmed by officials in Washington.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that U.N. investigators found the remains of a North Korean Hwasong-11 ballistic missile after an attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

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