United States reconnaissance satellites (spyware) have photographed roughly 30 illegal transaction of Chinese shipping vessels selling oil to North Korea in the West Sea in October alone, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo news.
Satellite images reveal the names of the ships and that the transactions occurred in an area of the West Sea that is closer to China than to South Korea. This comes in the wake of President Trump issuing sanctions and a U.N. Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2375, which prohibits any country or business from ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas. (However, violations are nearly impossible to detect, unless the Chinese government aggressively cracks down on smuggling.)
In November, the US. Treasury Department also sanctioned six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their ships after the satellite images revealed these transactions.
One ship is easily identified as the North Korean “Ryesonggang 1.”
The question is, after the diplomatic channels and resonnesence efforts are exhausted, what will Trump’s next move be with China? Will the U.S. Navy start policing the high seas to prevent oil from being sold in North Korea? Will the U.S. impose sanctions on China?