China restricting North Korea oil shipments

LA Times:
China will soon begin restricting oil exports to North Korea, the country’s Commerce Ministry announced on Saturday, marking a major step by Pyongyang’s top ally and trading partner to further isolate the country from the global economy.

China said the new restrictions are in accordance with United Nations sanctions leveled against the North to stymie its nuclear and missile ambitions. They include a total and immediate ban on natural gas and textile exports, and will limit annual petroleum exports to 2 million barrels beginning on Jan. 1.

“When approaching the upper limit, Chinese government authorities will issue a notice based on the export situation,” said a statement on the Commerce Ministry’s website. “Once it reaches the limit, from the date of implementation, no refined oil products will be exported to North Korea.”

China has been North Korea’s top ally for decades, and now accounts for an estimated 90% of the country’s trade. Yet Beijing has been increasingly uneasy with its northeastern neighbor’s repeated nuclear and missile tests.
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Gas prices in Pyongyang have spiked by about 20% in the past two months, according to the newswire Agence France Presse.
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It is not clear to me that there are any private autos in North Korea.  If not, then this will put a damper on North Korea government mobility.  It could effect their ability to used mechanized forces for any length of time as well as transport their rocket launchers.  North Korea is already restricting the use of electricity by most people in the country.

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