China Escalates Pressure On North Korea: Crude Oil Supply Halt On The Table

Tyler Durden's picture

While US and North Korean officials have traded verbal missiles in the past few days, China has been noticably quiet. However, that just changed as a prominent Chinese expert told The Nikkei that China likely will halt crude oil exports to North Korea should Pyongyang conduct its sixth nuclear test, signaling a tougher attitude by Beijing toward its rogue neighbor.

North Korea relies almost entirely on China for oil. The Asian giant shipped about 500,000 tons of crude to the North each year until 2013, according to the Chinese customs agency. Bilateral ties cooled that year after Pyongyang carried out its third nuclear test, and exports officially have remained at zero since 2014. But China is believed to still provide crude to North Korea off the books. A complete freeze would impact the North Korean economy.

A nuclear test or the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles would violate United Nations Security Council resolutions, and China is certain to respond with additional sanctions, said Zhang Liangui, a professor at the Chinese Communist Party's Central Party School and noted authority on North Korea.

The option to cut off the North's crude supply will be put on the table, Zhang said, while stressing that the Chinese government will ultimately decide its course of action.

Diplomatic sources have also suggested a halt to crude exports and financial exchanges. The Global Times, an affiliate of Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, recently published editorials arguing that North Korea's nuclear experiments must be stopped, and that China should make clear that it will cut off crude exports in response to further tests.

However, even if China says it has stopped all crude exports to North Korea, such a claim cannot not be verified, given that past shipments have not been reflected in official data. Some also argue that it is technologically difficult to completely shut off the pipeline between China and the North. It remains unclear just how serious Beijing has become toward handling Pyongyang's threat.

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wisehiney's picture

This will kill opec.

All of those mercedes and monster trucks in n korea brought to a halt.

Not to mention cancellation of the Pyongang 500 spring race.

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

Is China playing Trump just to buy some time before the "Trade Negotiations" begin.    I seriously doubt China will do anything significant to "The Best Korea".

wisehiney's picture

Not unless they issue a  "super mighty preemptive FUCK YOU" to china.

dark fiber's picture

China shutting NK down will send a clear message about who really counts in the region, especially if no shots are fired.  No way the US deep state will allow this to happen, it would marginalize the US overnight and everyone will be looking to China for leadership.

Uchtdorf's picture

You, sir, are wiser than your name suggests.

wisehiney's picture

Thank you.

Another nugget.....The best twitter birds are not round shaped like the logo, they are elongated.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

This is all bullshit theatre. Animal farm should be compulsory reading to get into kindergarten, renew any licence, and to vote in any election. If you can't figure out the pigs role in the book, it's an auto fail back to kindergarten.

HRClinton's picture

Super mighty preemptive shipments of oil halted to China?

How crude of them. Tanks a lot!

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

But China is believed to still provide crude to North Korea off the books.

That's not all they give them off the books.

Akzed's picture

US escalates pressure on China escalates pressure on NK

lolmao500's picture


Cobra Ball up. River Joint up. China mobilising bombers. China building hospitals on the NKorean border.

Yeah something about to go down

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Yea man.  Too many toys, too little resources, and too many sociopathic narcissists on too small of an area.  Bad recipe.

Boomberg's picture

Great. A new market for Iran and Argentina. Doesn't China import their own oil?

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

China probably gives NK the oil for free.  People on ZH and elsewhere don't seem to understand what NK is to China: it's Junkyard dog.

silverer's picture

Geez. I hope Kim's nukes aren't kerosene powered.

divingengineer's picture

They could always BUY their oil on the open market like every other country in the world.
No need to run out. Plenty of oil in storage all over the place.

hsun85's picture

A complete freeze would impact the North Korean economy.


Do they even have an economy?

sister tika's picture

NK's behavior so far reminds me of a high-school pep rally. China has nothing to gain by promoting a nuclear shootout on their border. In addition, it does not help that Little Kim's biscuits aren't done either.

carbonmutant's picture

Trump and Xi have a plan...
Xi has the carrot and Trump has the stick...

Able Ape's picture

My daddy went to war and the only thing he got was his legs blown off...

I love your wife's picture

They can get all the Iranian oil via Marc Rich's old company (now called The Clinton Foundation).

conspicio's picture


1) Yes, I am serious.

2) Indeed Rodman has met multiple times with Kim Jong Un

3) OK, he is not confirmed CIA, but c'mon, the dude didn't get those meetings by hisself.

4) At this point, why not, amirite...

aliens is here's picture

We need to ban Chinese women coming here having babies.

sinbad2's picture

All these stories about China and North Korea are I think total BS.

The stories all rely on another  media outlet, or some chinese guy who runs a laundry in Buttfuch Alabama.

The Chinese have said very little, apart from the usual, violence is not the answer. This is typical media BS, wagging the dog.

So how is the carrier task force off the coast of Korea going?

Their BS works, because no matter how many times they are shown to be bullshitting, people believe the next story as if it was gospel.

chairman mao's picture

A very good article from fake news central NYT on this matter.

North Korea is hell bent on getting nukes not because of the US threat, but because they lost faith in China for protection. When the Soviets established diplomatic relations with the South in 1990, Kim's grandad went to China begging Deng Xiaoping not to do the same, but China sold them out in 1992 and established diplomatic relations with the South, 6 months later the North withdrew from the nuclear non proliferation treaty and started developing nukes.

Since then everytime China and the South got too close they start some shit, this most recent Hyrdogen bomb tests started a few days after the South president went to Beijing's military parade in 2015, defying washington. 

I think China is going to make a major policy shift here, they are going to work with the South to engineer a collapse of the North. They are confident an united Korea will be a Chinese satellite.


The wildcard here is Russia, who can supply everything the North needs.