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Russia rejects US claim of supplying fuel to North Korea

Moscow has dismissed allegations by Washington that Russia helped North Korea acquire fuel through transfers at sea in violation of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the accusations were not supported up by evidence.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday accused Russia of “cheating” on UN sanctions on Pyongyang, saying that Washington had “evidence of consistent and wide-ranging Russian violations.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the US is convening a multinational coalition to better track ships supplying fuel to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions.

Citing US military officials, the Journal reported on September 14 that the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, South Korea and France would join the US to form the coalition, which would also contribute warships and military surveillance aircraft to better spot shipments to the North.

The coalition is formed despite international calls on Washington to ease pressure in response to Pyongyang’s efforts toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Moscow and Beijing have called on the UN to consider easing sanctions on North Korea in response to its opening up dialogue with the United States and halting missile tests.

However, Washington insists on maintaining “maximum pressure” on North Korea, emphasizing “denuclearization first.”

Pyongyang has urged Washington to take reciprocal measures for its goodwill gestures, including officially declaring an end to the Korean War and removing sanctions.

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