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Oil shipped to N.K. for liaison office not subject to sanctions: minister

All Headlines 17:48 March 20, 2019

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Wednesday the government does not consider petroleum products transferred to North Korea for an inter-Korean liaison office as subject to U.N. sanctions.

Last week, a U.N. report on sanctions on North Korea took note of South Korea's transfer of petroleum products to the North's border town of Kaesong where the liaison office is located.

"We see it as not subject to the U.N. sanctions," Cho said during a parliamentary session on foreign and security affairs.

According to the annual U.N. report, Seoul said South Korean officials used the products exclusively for inter-Korean projects, while ensuring no transfer of economic value to the North.

The report, however, said member states should disclose any transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korea, regardless of who possesses the products, citing a sanctions resolution adopted in 2017.

"As the report noted that the South Korean government's perspective on how to interpret the sanctions differs from the panel of experts, we will consult with the U.N. and other related countries," Cho said.

During the session, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon expressed regret over media reports that said the government violated sanctions when the U.N. report did not say that the act was in violation of the sanctions.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon speaks during a parliamentary session in Seoul on March 20, 2019. (Yonhap)


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