Go to contents

Did China Cut Oil Aid to North Korea?

Posted October. 24, 2006 07:02,   


When the car carrying your correspondent got out of the paved way near apartment buildings and into a 500m-path leading to a village, several white and round oil containers were seen on a small hill on October 21. Around 50 staff and 30 security guards were known to work there though no armed guards could be seen at the time either in front of or around the facilities.

A local source, however, said that they secretly keep the security of the facilities, which are one of the important national establishments. According to him, if a stranger walks around the village or takes pictures after getting from a car, the person would be searched and a restricted in his or her activity by the guards.

Also, the source said, they record the plate numbers of all the cars running around and through the facilities and the village. That is why taxis in Dandong would not come into the village.

Recently, the Japanese press quoted a Hong Kong civic group that the Chinese government had reduced the oil supply to North Korea as part of the sanctions to Pyongyang after the nuclear test.

But an official of an energy company in Dandong said, “A suspension of oil supply to North Korea would mean the tie between China and the North is in grave danger. The alleged suspension is not true.” He added, “The two countries share equally the electric power generated in four hydroelectric power plants such as Supung (controlled by North Korea) in Aprok River and Winfung (administered by China). Even intensified economic sanctions against North Korea would not include the electricity in Aprok.”

Another source in Dandong said, “China provides oil to North Korea by trading, or at a discounted price or free. If the oil supply was reduced, it was probably because the trading volume decreased.” But he said that the volume of the supply did not go down after the nuclear test.

The oil controlled by the subsidiary of China Petroleum Corporation is produced in Daqing oil field, Heilongjiang Province and Liaohe oil field, Liaoning Province in the Northeast region. The oil pipelines confluence outside of Shenyang, sending part of the oil to China through an oil reservoir in Shingkwang and part of it to North Korea through an 11km- pipeline that runs under Aprok River.