China denies shipping oil to North Korea
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China is on the defensive over US President Donald Trump’s accusations that it has illegally shipped oil to North Korea. But China’s foreign ministry said the accusation was not true and that it had never allowed Chinese companies to engage in activities that violated UN resolutions. Despite being North Korea’s main trading partner, China voted with the UN Security Council to impose punishing new sanctions on Pyongyang as Kim Jong-un’s regime continues its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons programmes. Among the most recent sanctions is a huge reduction in oil exports and a ban on oil shipments to North Korea, which Pyongang has called an “act of war”. On Thursday, the UN blacklisted four ships suspected of transporting banned goods. The US wanted 10 ships to be banned from international ports but China blocked a ban on six of them.