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Taiwan Says It's Complying with North Korea Sanctions

(File photo: U.S. Department of the Treasury)

Taiwan is complying with international sanctions against North Korea, a senior Taiwanese security official told the United States' deputy representative for North Korea on Tuesday, having previously been called out for breaking them.

Taiwan, claimed by China as its own, is not a member of the United Nations, but says that as a responsible global player it is committed to ensuring sanctions are enforced to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

In 2018, independent U.N. monitors told a U.N. Security Council sanctions committee in a confidential report that they had investigated cases of ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in violation of sanctions and that the network behind the vessels was primarily based in Taiwan.

Tsai Ming-yen, deputy secretary-general of Taiwan's National Security Council, told Alex Wong, the U.S. State Department's deputy assistant secretary for North Korea, that Taiwan was a "responsible member of the international community".

Taiwan "will continue to closely cooperate with the United States, and carry out and implement actions to comply with international sanctions against North Korea", Tsai said, according to the foreign ministry.

The teleconference at which Tsai made the comments was also attended by representatives of Taiwan's anti-money laundering office, its justice ministry, ports authority and coast guard, the ministry added.

Taiwan has called on its companies to comply with U.N. sanctions, and in 2017 suspended refined oil and LNG exports to North Korea, as well as clothing and textile imports, to comply with U.N. resolutions.

The call between Tsai and Wong is another sign of the stepped up relationship between Taipei and Washington, which do not have formal diplomatic relations.

The Trump administration has made bolstering ties with democratic Taiwan a priority.

This has angered China, and become another source of tension in its relations with the United States.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

May 19, 2020



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