"Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea".
Satellite images released by the U.S. Department of Treasury appeared to show vessels from both countries illegally trading oil in the West Sea, The Chosun Ilbo reported Tuesday, citing South Korean government sources.
China has been caught red-handed illegally selling oil to North Korea, thanks to US spy satellites, which captured images of the deals roughly 30 times since October.
The U.S. Treasury Department placed six North Korean shipping and trading companies and 20 of their ships on sanctions list on November 21, when it published spy satellite images taken on October 19 showing a ship named Ryesonggang 1 connected to a Chinese vessel.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council - with China's backing - slapped new sanctions on North Korea that will restrict oil supplies vital for Pyongyang's missile and nuclear programs.
The U.N. resolution seeks to ban almost 90 per cent of refined petroleum exports to North Korea by capping them at 500,000 barrels a year.
It comes a day after Chinese customs data was revealed claiming Beijing exported no oil products to North Korea in November.
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In recent months, Trump's administration has praised Beijing for its efforts to tame North Korea.
In September, the Security Council put a cap of 2 million barrels a year on refined petroleum products exports to North Korea.
The department noted that the two ships appeared to be illegally trading in oil from ship to ship to bypass sanctions. It was reportedly the second consecutive month China didn't export diesel or gasoline to North Korea.
The satellite pictures even show the names of the ships.
Asked at a regular briefing whether Chinese ships were illegally providing oil to North Korean ships, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang reiterated that China, including the military, strictly enforced United Nations resolutions.
President Donald Trump is attacking China following reports that Chinese ships improperly transferred oil to North Korean vessels at sea, saying there "will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!"
China and Russian Federation subsequently asked for more time to consider the proposal.