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What really happened in Security Council: China REJECTED oil embargo on North Korea

China to continue supplying North Korea with crude oil at previous levels; will continue cross border trade

Alexander Mercouris

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It is now clear that ever since North Korea carried out its Hwasong 15 ICBM launch complex three party negotiations between the US, China and Russia have been underway in great secrecy in order to agree a further sanctions resolution in the UN Security Council against North Korea.

Almost certainly the two recent telephone conversations between US President Trump and Russian President Putin have touched on this.

The unusual secrecy in which the negotiations were conducted meant that when the sanctions resolution was finally agreed and was voted for unanimously by the UN Security Council it came as something of a surprise.

In the run up to the vote the US had however been making fully clear what sort of pressure it wanted the UN Security Council and China specifically to impose on North Korea: a total embargo on all supplies of oil to North Korea along with a naval blockade and an effective cessation of all trade between North Korea and the outside world.

The important point to take away from the UN Security Council meeting is that China again rejected these demands.

Here it is important to make a number of points about China’s deliveries of crude oil to North Korea.

Firstly, crude oil is about the only product North Korea needs to import in order to keep its economy going which it cannot produce itself.  I say this though it is known that North Korea has been stockpiling crude oil in anticipation of a possible future embargo of crude oil deliveries to itself and would probably be able to keep its economy going for some time albeit at a reduced rate if crude oil were indeed cut off.

By contrast North Korea is able to refine crude oil and can sustain its economy if refined oil products such as petroleum are cut off, provided it continues to be supplied with crude oil in sufficient quantity.

I would add briefly and in parenthesis that the Germans in the 1930s perfected a technology for making synthetic oil from coal, which North Korea produces itself and of which it has no shortage.  The procedure is however complicated and expensive and comes with environmental cost.  There is no information that North Korea has copied it, though presumably over time it could do so.

Secondly, all crude oil which North Korea imports comes from China.

Thirdly, it appears that China does not actually require payment from North Korea for this crude oil, which is provided essentially as a gift.

The text of the latest sanctions resolution voted for unanimously by the UN Security Council is provided at the end of this article.

Its key provision is paragraph 4 which caps crude oil deliveries to North Korea at four million barrels for any twelve month period.  Not only does this however fall well short of a total oil embargo.  It is the same amount that China supplied to North Korea last year.

In other words China has again rejected the US demand for a total oil embargo, and specifically for a total embargo on all crude oil supplies.

Moreover the text of the resolution shows that China has also rejected the US demand for a naval blockade of North Korea.  Instead a complex system of inspections of North Korean ships  suspected of trading in prohibited products has been introduced, which however will be subject to ultimate supervision by the UN Security Council itself.

In addition it is clear that cross border trader between China and North Korean private traders, which has become increasingly important for the North Korean economy, will continue as before.

The resolution will however significantly toughen economic conditions in North Korea.  The key point is that though North Korea is able to refine its own petroleum, it must now do so from the crude oil it imports, which is now capped at last year’s levels.

The point is explained clearly in a commentary by China’s official Xinhua news agency

The resolution sets a ceiling of 500,000 barrels for the import of refined petroleum to the DPRK during a 12-month period beginning from Jan. 1, 2018.

That reduces the country’s import of refined oil by almost 90 percent, and is a reduction from the 4.5 million barrels it imported in 2016, as well as a 2 million-barrel limit stipulated in a September resolution.

The resolution also restricts the DPRK’s crude oil imports to no more than 4 million barrels a year and requests that countries supplying oil to Pyongyang provide a quarterly report to the Security Council committee monitoring the sanctions.

The U.S.-drafted resolution refrains from banning all oil imports for the Northeastern Asian nation, something the administration of President Donald Trump has threatened many times amid Pyongyang’s non-stop provocative actions.

In summary, China will supply to North Korea sufficient crude oil to enable North Korea to sustain its civilian economy.  However by ending all but a small quantity of North Korea’s imports of petroleum and refined oil products China is trying to force North Korea to choose between sustaining its civilian economy or its military, which like all militaries everywhere is a major user of petroleum products.

The calculation appears to be that North Korea will soon run out of sufficient refined oil products such as petroleum to do both, and that rather than risk its civilian economy it will cut back on its military and its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme, which is itself a heavy user of refined oil products.

That this is indeed China’s calculation is explained in detail by an editorial in the semi official Chinese English language newspaper Global Times.

Chinese society says no to North Korea’s development of nuclear technologies but also feels sympathetic toward North Korean people that suffer the hardships. We hope the sanctions only target its nuclear development and missile activities. We do not want to hurt people’s livelihoods or impair the stability of the regime.

The problem is that this calculation may prove wrong.  On this issue there now appears to be a difference between China and Russia, with the Russians warning that no amount of sanctions will ever persuade the North Koreans to give up on their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme.

The Russians are almost certainly right.  Not only have the North Koreans shown a complete unwillingness to compromise on their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme up to now, but with that programme now very close to success, with the Hwasong-15 apparently capable of reaching any part of the continental US, and with North Korea apparently very close to miniaturising a thermonuclear warhead for it, North Korea has no real incentive to draw back now.

Perhaps in a year’s time, when the key elements of the programme are completed, it may do so, but having got so far there seems little point in doing so now.

The question is what happens if North Korea presses ahead?  Global Times makes China’s concerns clear

Chinese society says no to North Korea’s development of nuclear technologies but also feels sympathetic toward North Korean people that suffer the hardships. We hope the sanctions only target its nuclear development and missile activities. We do not want to hurt people’s livelihoods or impair the stability of the regime. Beijing has endured mounting pressure from Washington.

Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable to use force against it and change the political situation in North Korea and the Korean Peninsula. It is hoped that Washington and Pyongyang can discover their common interests.

The new resolution is extremely harsh. It may be the last hope for a desperate situation on the peninsula. South Korea recently said it could suspend joint military drills with the US until after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February 2018. It is hoped Pyongyang gets the message and responds positively.

A peaceful solution to the nuclear crisis is becoming more costly for both North Korea and the US.

This suggests that the Chinese see the resolution as the last chance to avoid war.  If so, and if that is right, then since there is practically no chance of North Korea drawing back war is indeed coming.

The full text of Security Council resolution 2397 (2017) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions, including resolution 825 (1993), resolution 1695 (2006), resolution 1718 (2006), resolution 1874 (2009), resolution 1887 (2009), resolution 2087 (2013), resolution 2094 (2013), resolution 2270 (2016), resolution 2321 (2016), resolution 2356 (2017), resolution 2371 (2017), resolution 2375 (2017), as well as the statements of its President of 6 October 2006 (document S/PRST/2006/41), 13 April 2009 (document S/PRST/2009/7), 16 April 2012 (document S/PRST/2012/13), and 29 August 2017 (document  S/PRST/2017/16),

Reaffirming that proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, as well as their means of delivery, constitutes a threat to international peace and security,

Expressing its gravest concern at the ballistic missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 28 November 2017 in violation of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016) 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), and 2375 (2017) and at the challenge such a test constitutes to the Treaty on Non‑Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and to international efforts aimed at strengthening the global regime of non‑proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the danger it poses to peace and stability in the region and beyond,

Underlining once again the importance that the DPRK respond to other security and humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the necessity of the DPRK respecting and ensuring the welfare, inherent dignity, and rights of people in the DPRK, and expressing great concern that the DPRK continues to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles by diverting critically needed resources away from the people in the DPRK at tremendous cost when they have great unmet needs,

Acknowledging that the proceeds of the DPRK’s trade in sectoral goods, including but not limited to coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, textiles, seafood, gold, silver, rare earth minerals and other prohibited metals, as well as the revenue generated from DPRK workers overseas, among others, contribute to the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs,

Expressing its gravest concern that the DPRK’s ongoing nuclear- and ballistic missile‑related activities have destabilized the region and beyond, and determining that there continues to exist a clear threat to international peace and security,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, and taking measures under Article 41,

“1.   Condemns in the strongest terms the ballistic missile launch conducted by the DPRK on 28 November 2017 in violation and flagrant disregard of the Security Council’s resolutions;

“2.   Reaffirms its decisions that the DPRK shall not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear tests, or any other provocation; shall immediately suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program and in this context re‑establish its pre‑existing commitments to a moratorium on all missile launches; shall immediately abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, and immediately cease all related activities; and shall abandon any other existing weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner;

Designations

“3.   Decides that the measures specified in paragraph 8(d) of resolution 1718 (2006) shall apply also to the individuals and entities listed in annex I and II of this resolution and to any individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, and to entities owned or controlled by them, including through illicit means, and decides further that the measures specified in paragraph 8(e) of resolution 1718 (2006) shall also apply to the individuals listed in annex I of this resolution and to individuals acting on their behalf or at their direction;

Sectoral

“4.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles and whether or not originating in their territories, of all crude oil, unless the Committee approves in advance on a case‑by‑case basis a shipment of crude oil which is exclusively for livelihood purposes of DPRK nationals and unrelated to the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, further decides that this prohibition shall not apply with respect to crude oil that, for a period of twelve months after the date of adoption of this resolution, and for 12-month periods thereafter, does not exceed 4 million barrels or 525,000 tons in the aggregate per twelve month period, and decides that all Member States providing crude oil shall provide a report to the Committee every 90 days from the date of adoption of this resolution of the amount of crude oil provided to the DPRK;

“5.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles, and whether or not originating in their territories, of all refined petroleum products, decides that the DPRK shall not procure such products, further decides that this provision shall not apply with respect to procurement by the DPRK or the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles, and whether or not originating in their territories, of refined petroleum products, including diesel and kerosene, in the aggregate amount of up to 500,000 barrels during a period of twelve months beginning on January 1, 2018, and for twelve month periods thereafter, provided that (a) the Member State notifies the Committee every thirty days of the amount of such supply, sale, or transfer to the DPRK of refined petroleum products along with information about all the parties to the transaction, (b) the supply, sale, or transfer of refined petroleum products involve no individuals or entities that are associated with the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, including designated individuals or entities, or individuals or entities acting on their behalf or at their direction, or entities owned or controlled by them, directly or indirectly, or individuals or entities assisting in the evasion of sanctions, and (c) the supply, sale, or transfer of refined petroleum products are exclusively for livelihood purposes of DPRK nationals and unrelated to generating revenue for the DPRK’s nuclear or ballistic missile programmes or other activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 75 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached, also directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 90 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached, and further directs the Committee Secretary beginning on 1 January 2018 to notify all Member States when an aggregate amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK of 95 per cent of the aggregate yearly amounts have been reached and to inform them that they must immediately cease selling, supplying, or transferring refined petroleum products to the DPRK for the remainder of the year, directs the Committee to make publicly available on its website the total amount of refined petroleum products sold, supplied, or transferred to the DPRK by month and by source country, directs the Committee to update this information on a real-time basis as it receives notifications from Member States, calls upon all Member States to regularly review this website to comply with the annual limits for refined petroleum products established by this provision beginning on 1 January 2018, directs the Panel of Experts to closely monitor the implementation efforts of all Member States to provide assistance and ensure full and global compliance, and requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to this effect and provide additional resources in this regard;

“6.   Decides that the DPRK shall not supply, sell or transfer, directly or indirectly, from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessels or aircraft, food and agricultural products (HS codes 12, 08, 07), machinery (HS code 84), electrical equipment (HS code 85), earth and stone including magnesite and magnesia (HS code 25), wood (HS code 44), and vessels (HS code 89), and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of the above-mentioned commodities and products from the DPRK by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of the DPRK, clarifies that the full sectoral ban on seafood in paragraph 9 of resolution 2371 (2017) prohibits the DPRK from selling or transferring, directly or indirectly, fishing rights, and further decides that for sales of and transactions involving all commodities and products from the DPRK whose transfer, supply, or sale by the DPRK are prohibited by this paragraph and for which written contracts have been finalized prior to the adoption of this resolution, all States may only allow those shipments to be imported into their territories up to 30 days from the date of adoption of this resolution with notification provided to the Committee containing details on those imports by no later than 45 days after the date of adoption of this resolution;

“7.   Decides that all Member States shall prohibit the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels, aircraft, pipelines, rail lines, or vehicles and whether or not originating in their territories, of all industrial machinery (HS codes 84 and 85), transportation vehicles (HS codes 86 through 89), and iron, steel, and other metals (HS codes 72 through 83) and further decides that this provision shall not apply with respect to the provision of spare parts needed to maintain the safe operation of DPRK commercial civilian passenger aircraft (currently consisting of the following aircraft models and types: An-24R/RV, An-148-100B, Il-18D, Il-62M, Tu-134B-3, Tu-154B, Tu-204-100B, and Tu-204-300);

“8.   Expresses concern that DPRK nationals continue to work in other States for the purpose of generating foreign export earnings that the DPRK uses to support its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile programs despite the adoption of paragraph 17 of resolution 2375 (2017), decides that Member States shall repatriate to the DPRK all DPRK nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction and all DPRK government safety oversight attachés monitoring DPRK workers abroad immediately but no later than 24 months from the date of adoption of this resolution unless the Member State determines that a DPRK national is a national of that Member State or a DPRK national whose repatriation is prohibited, subject to applicable national and international law, including international refugee law and international human rights law, and the United Nations Headquarters Agreement and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and further decides that all Member States shall provide a midterm report by 15 months from the date of adoption of this resolution of all DPRK nationals earning income in that Member State’s jurisdiction that were repatriated over the 12 month period starting from the date of adoption of this resolution, including an explanation of why less than half of such DPRK nationals were not repatriated by the end of that 12 month period if applicable, and all Member States shall provide final reports by 27 months from the date of adoption of this resolution;

Maritime Interdiction of Cargo Vessels

“9.   Notes with great concern that the DPRK is illicitly exporting coal and other prohibited items through deceptive maritime practices and obtaining petroleum illegally through ship-to-ship transfers and decides that Member States shall seize, inspect, and freeze (impound) any vessel in their ports, and may seize, inspect, and freeze (impound) any vessel subject to its jurisdiction in its territorial waters, if the Member State has reasonable grounds to believe that the vessel was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, encourages Member States to consult with the flag States of relevant vessels once they are seized, inspected, and frozen (impounded), and further decides that, after six months from the date such vessels were frozen (impounded), this provision shall not apply if the Committee decides, on a case-by-case basis and upon request of a flag State, that adequate arrangements have been made to prevent the vessel from contributing to future violations of these resolutions;

“10.  Decides that when a Member State has information to suspect that the DPRK is attempting to supply, sell, transfer or procure, directly or indirectly, illicit cargo, that Member State may request additional maritime and shipping information from other relevant Member States, including to determine whether the item, commodity, or product in question originated from the DPRK, further decides that all Member States receiving such inquiries shall respond as promptly as possible to such requests in an appropriate manner, decides that the Committee, with the support of its Panel of Experts, shall facilitate timely coordination of such information requests through an expedited process, and requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to this effect and provide additional resources to the Committee and the Panel of Experts in this regard;

“11.  Reaffirms paragraph 22 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that each Member State shall prohibit its nationals, persons subject to its jurisdiction and entities incorporated in its territory or subject to its jurisdiction from providing insurance or re-insurance services to vessels it has reasonable grounds to believe were involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution, unless the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis that the vessel is engaged in activities exclusively for livelihood purposes which will not be used by DPRK individuals or entities to generate revenue or exclusively for humanitarian purposes;

“12.  Reaffirms paragraph 24 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that each Member State shall de-register any vessel it has reasonable grounds to believe was involved in activities, or the transport of items, prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution and prohibit its nationals, persons subject to its jurisdiction and entities incorporated in its territory or subject to its jurisdiction from thereafter providing classification services to such a vessel except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis, and further decides that Member States shall not register any such vessel that has been de-registered by another Member State pursuant to this paragraph except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis;

“13.  Expresses concern that DPRK-flagged, controlled, chartered, or operated vessels intentionally disregard requirements to operate their automatic identification systems (AIS) to evade UNSCR sanctions monitoring by turning off such systems to mask their full movement history and calls upon Member States to exercise enhanced vigilance with regards to such vessels conducting activities prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution;

“14.  Recalls paragraph 30 of resolution 2321 (2016) and decides that all Member States shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the DPRK, through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, and whether or not originating in their territories, of any new or used vessels, except as approved in advance by the Committee on a case-by-case basis;

“15.  Decides that, if a Member State has information regarding the number, name, and registry of vessels encountered in its territory or on the high seas that are designated by the Security Council or by the Committee as subject to the asset freeze imposed by paragraph 8(d) of resolution 1718 (2006), the various measures imposed by paragraph 12 of resolution 2321 (2016), the port entry ban imposed by paragraph 6 of resolution 2371 (2017), or relevant measures in this resolution, then the Member State shall notify the Committee of this information and what measures were taken to carry out an inspection, an asset freeze and impoundment or other appropriate action as authorized by the relevant provisions of resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017), or this resolution;

“16.  Decides that the provisions of this resolution shall not apply with respect solely to the trans-shipment of Russia-origin coal to other countries through the Russia-DPRK Rajin-Khasan port and rail project, as permitted by paragraph 8 of resolution 2371 (2017) and paragraph 18 of resolution 2375 (2017);

Sanctions Implementation

“17.  Decides that Member States shall report to the Security Council within ninety days of the adoption of this resolution, and thereafter upon request by the Committee, on concrete measures they have taken in order to implement effectively the provisions of this resolution, requests the Panel of Experts, in cooperation with other UN sanctions monitoring groups, to continue its efforts to assist Member States in preparing and submitting such reports in a timely manner;

“18.  Calls upon all Member States to redouble efforts to implement in full the measures in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution and to cooperate with each other in doing so, particularly with respect to inspecting, detecting and seizing items the transfer of which is prohibited by these resolutions;

“19.  Decides that the mandate of the Committee, as set out in paragraph 12 of resolution 1718 (2006), shall apply with respect to the measures imposed in this resolution and further decides that the mandate of the Panel of Experts, as specified in paragraph 26 of resolution 1874 (2009) and modified in paragraph 1 of resolution 2345 (2017), shall also apply with respect to the measures imposed in this resolution;

“20.  Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable or unusable, storage, or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution that are identified in inspections, in a manner that is not inconsistent with their obligations under applicable Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1540 (2004), as well as any obligations of parties to the NPT, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Development of 29 April 1997, and the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction of 10 April 1972;

“21.  Emphasizes the importance of all States, including the DPRK, taking the necessary measures to ensure that no claim shall lie at the instance of the DPRK, or of any person or entity in the DPRK, or of persons or entities designated for measures set forth in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) or this resolution, or any person claiming through or for the benefit of any such person or entity, in connection with any contract or other transaction where its performance was prevented by reason of the measures imposed by this resolution or previous resolutions;

“22.  Emphasizes that the measures set forth in resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution shall in no way impede the activities of diplomatic or consular missions in the DPRK pursuant to the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations;

Political

“23.  Reiterates its deep concern at the grave hardship that the people in the DPRK are subjected to, condemnsthe DPRK for pursuing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles instead of the welfare of its people while people in the DPRK have great unmet needs, emphasizes the necessity of the DPRK respecting and ensuring the welfare and inherent dignity of people in the DPRK, and demands that the DPRK stop diverting its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles at the cost of the people in the DPRK;

“24.  Regrets the DPRK’s massive diversion of its scarce resources toward its development of nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programs, notes the findings of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance that well over half of the people in the DPRK suffer from major insecurities in food and medical care, including a very large number of pregnant and lactating women and under-five children who are at risk of malnutrition and 41 per cent of its total population who are undernourished, and, in this context, expresses deep concern at the grave hardship to which the people in the DPRK are subjected;

“25.  Reaffirms that the measures imposed by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK or to affect negatively or restrict those activities, including economic activities and cooperation, food aid and humanitarian assistance, that are not prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017), 2375 (2017) and this resolution, and the work of international and non‑governmental organizations carrying out assistance and relief activities in the DPRK for the benefit of the civilian population of the DPRK, stresses the DPRK’s primary responsibility and need to fully provide for the livelihood needs of people in the DPRK, and decides that the Committee may, on a case-by-case basis, exempt any activity from the measures imposed by these resolutions if the committee determines that such an exemption is necessary to facilitate the work of such organizations in the DPRK or for any other purpose consistent with the objectives of these resolutions;

“26.  Reaffirms its support for the Six Party Talks, calls for their resumption, and reiterates its support for the commitments set forth in the Joint Statement of 19 September 2005 issued by China, the DPRK, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States, including that the goal of the Six-Party Talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner and the return of the DPRK to the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards at an early date, bearing in mind the rights and obligations of States parties to the NPT and underlining the need for all States parties to the NPT to continue to comply with their Treaty obligations, that the United States and the DPRK undertook to respect each other’s sovereignty and exist peacefully together, that the Six Parties undertook to promote economic cooperation, and all other relevant commitments;

“27.  Reiterates the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in north-east Asia at large, and expresses its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic, and political solution to the situation and welcomes efforts by the Council members as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue and stresses the importance of working to reduce tensions in the Korean Peninsula and beyond;

“28.  Affirms that it shall keep the DPRK’s actions under continuous review and is prepared to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the measures as may be needed in light of the DPRK’s compliance, and, in this regard, expresses its determination to take further significant measures in the event of a further DPRK nuclear test or launch, and decides that, if the DPRK conducts a further nuclear test or a launch of a ballistic missile system capable of reaching intercontinental ranges or contributing to the development of a ballistic missile system capable of such ranges, then the Security Council will take action to restrict further the export to the DPRK of petroleum;

“29.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Annex I

Travel Ban/Asset Freeze (Individuals)

1.  CH’OE SO’K MIN

a.  Description:  Ch’oe So’k-min is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.  In 2016, Ch’oe So’k-min was the deputy representative at the Foreign Trade Bank branch office in that overseas location.  He has been associated with cash transfers from that overseas Foreign Trade Bank office to banks affiliated with North Korean special organizations and Reconnaissance General Bureau operatives located overseas in an effort to evade sanctions.

b.  AKA:  n/a

c.  Identifiers:  DOB: 25 July 1978; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

2.  CHU HYO’K

a.  Description:  Chu Hyo’k is a North Korean national who is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ju Hyok

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 23 November 1986; Passport No. 836420186 issued 28 October 2016 expires 28 October 2021; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

3.  KIM JONG SIK

a.  Description: A leading official guiding the DPRK’s WMD development efforts. Serving as Deputy Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Munitions Industry Department.

b.  A.K.A.: Kim Cho’ng-sik

c.  Identifiers: YOB: between 1967 and 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Address: DPRK

4.  KIM KYONG IL

a.  Description:  Kim Kyong Il is a Foreign Trade Bank deputy chief representative in Libya.

b.  AKA:  Kim Kyo’ng-il

c.  Identifiers:  Location Libya; DOB: 01 August 1979; Passport No. 836210029; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

5.  KIM TONG CHOL

a.  Description:  Kim Tong Chol is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Kim Tong-ch’o’l

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 28 January 1966; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

6.  KO CHOL MAN

a.  Description:  Ko Chol Man is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ko Ch’o’l-man

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 30 September 1967; Passport No. 472420180; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

7.  KU JA HYONG

a.  Description:  Ku Ja Hyong is a Foreign Trade Bank chief representative in Libya.

b.  AKA:  Ku Cha-hyo’ng

c.  Identifiers:  Location Libya; DOB: 08 September 1957; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

8.  MUN KYONG HWAN

a.  Description:  Mun Kyong Hwan is an overseas Bank of East Land representative.

b.  AKA:  Mun Kyo’ng-hwan

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 22 August 1967; Passport No. 381120660 expires 25 March 2016; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

9.  PAE WON UK

a.  Description:  Pae Won Uk is an overseas Daesong Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Pae Wo’n-uk

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 22 August 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Passport No. 472120208 expires 22 Feb 2017

10. PAK BONG NAM

a.  Description:  Pak Bong Nam is an overseas Ilsim International Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Lui Wai Ming; Pak Pong Nam; Pak Pong-nam

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 06 May 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

11. PAK MUN IL

a.  Description:  Pak Mun Il is an overseas official of Korea Daesong Bank.

b.  AKA: Pak Mun-il

c.  Identifiers: DOB 01 January 1965; Passport No. 563335509 expires 27 August 2018; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

12. RI CHUN HWAN

a.  Description:  Ri Chun Hwan is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ri Ch’un-hwan

c.  Identifiers: DOB 21 August 1957; Passport No. 563233049 expires 09 May 2018; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

13. RI CHUN SONG

a.  Description:  Ri Chun Song is an overseas Foreign Trade Bank representative.

b.  AKA:  Ri Ch’un-so’ng

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 30 October 1965; Passport No. 654133553 expires 11 March 2019; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

14. RI PYONG CHUL

a.  Description: Alternate Member of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea and First Vice Director of the Munitions Industry Department.

b.  A.K.A.: Ri Pyo’ng-ch’o’l

c.  Identifiers: YOB: 1948; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male; Address: DPRK

15. RI SONG HYOK

a.  Description:  Ri Song Hyok is an overseas representative for Koryo Bank and Koryo Credit Development Bank and has reportedly established front companies to procure items and conduct financial transactions on behalf of North Korea.

b.  AKA:  Li Cheng He

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 19 March 1965; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

16. RI U’N SO’NG

a.  Description:  Ri U’n-so’ng is an overseas Korea Unification Development Bank representative.

b.  AKA: Ri Eun Song; Ri Un Song

c.  Identifiers: DOB: 23 July 1969; Nationality: DPRK; Gender: male

Annex II

Asset Freeze (Entities)

1.    MINISTRY OF THE PEOPLE’S ARMED FORCES (MPAF)

a. Description: The Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces manages the general administrative and logistical needs of the Korean People’s Army.

b. Location: Pyongyang, DPRK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The conclusion of Russiagate, Part I – cold, hard reality

The full text of Attorney General William P Barr’s summary is here offered, with emphases on points for further analysis.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The conclusion of the Russiagate investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was a pivotal media watershed moment. Even at the time of this writing there is a great deal of what might be called “journalistic froth” as opinion makers and analysts jostle to make their takes on this known to the world. Passions are running very high in both the Democrat / anti-Trump camps, where the reactions range from despondency to determined rage to not swallow the gigantic red pill that the “no collusion with Russia” determination offers. In the pro-Trump camp, the mood is deserved relief, but many who support the President are also realists, and they know this conflict is not over.

Where the pivot will go and what all this means is something that will unfold, probably relatively quickly, over the next week or two. But we want to offer a starting point here from which to base further analysis. At this time, of course, there are few hard facts other than the fact that Robert Mueller III submitted his report to the US Attorney General, William Barr, who then wrote and released his own report to the public Sunday evening. We reproduce that report here in full, with some emphases added to points that we think will be relevant to forthcoming pieces on this topic.

The end of the Mueller investigation brings concerns, hopes and fears to many people, on topics such as:

  • Will President Trump now begin to normalize relations with President Putin at full speed?
  • In what direction will the Democrats pivot to continue their attacks against the President?
  • What does this finding to to the 2020 race?
  • What does this finding do to the credibility of the United States’ leadership establishment, both at home and abroad?
  • What can we learn about our nation and culture from this investigation?
  • How does a false narrative get maintained so easily for so long, and
  • What do we do, or what CAN we do to prevent this being repeated?

These questions and more will be addressed in forthcoming pieces. But for now, here is the full text of the letter written by Attorney General William Barr concerning the Russia collusion investigation.

Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins:
As a supplement to the notification provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared.
The Special Counsel’s Report
On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
The report explains that the Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.
The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans including individuals associated with the Trump campaign joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
Obstruction of Justice.
The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President most of which have been the subject of public reporting that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.
In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that “the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.
Status of the Department’s Review
The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a “confidential report” to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to “matter[s] occurring before grand jury.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B) Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6(e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g. 18 U.S.C. 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.
Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6(e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6(e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
* * *
As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” notifications to your respective Committees “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.
Sincerely,
William P. Barr
Attorney General

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The consolidation of power of the global military industrial complex

Do Europeans support the notion that the countries of the EU be the nuclear war playground of the United States?

Richard Galustian

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Humanity faces two imminent existential threats: environmental catastrophe and nuclear war.

America has elected to completely ignore scientists warnings that we have 12 years to reverse an environmental disaster.

As far as nuclear obliteration, Trump announced that the US is withdrawing from the INF treaty, which eliminated short range missiles deployed in Western Europe, on Russia’s doorstep. It’s the equivalent of Russia placing nuclear missiles in Venezuela.

A provocation, which enables US supplied missiles to be launched, only a few minutes flight time to Moscow.

That, of course sharply increases the nuclear danger. Historically on both sides, attack warnings given by automated systems have often proved faulty in the past; that, if enacted upon, would have meant the end of life as we know it.

Anyone familiar with contemporary military history knows that it’s a virtual miracle that we have so far avoided nuclear war.

Politically within Europe, the attack on democracy is very clear. Unchallenged undemocratic institutions in Brussels exist that is, in the main, part of the problem of the UK BREXIT negotiations.

Why does the public readily accept wars, engineered by our morally bankrupt governments to create ‘regime change’ in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Ukraine and soon to be Venezuela followed by Nicaragua and Iran, with such a muted outcry?

That preemptive nuclear attacks are even thought of shows the insanity of Western leadership controlled by vested financial interests led by the Military/Security Industrial Complex and bankers. Those same interests created both ‘industrialised’ World Wars in the 20th Century.

Our governments do not listen to the people. When two million hit the streets of London before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, it made not an iota of difference to Tony Blair’s government.

Today, people’s apathy is notably caused by conditioning’, maybe better described as we’ve been ‘disciplined’ by MSM propaganda and family’s economic necessity to focus on their income, have made us so, due to our governments mismanagement of our economies.

Example, our university students are saddled with impossible to repay debt for a reason; to keep future generations ‘disciplined’.

No one has time or dare show any dissent especially given the Orwellian ‘newspeak’ environment that is created by ‘political correctness’.

Back to the subject of Russia phobia. The Western narrative against Russia is, in the main, the below:

* that Russia tried to murder the Skripals. Let the British government, who seem to be holding the Skripals against their will, prove they are not, by letting them be interviewed by the World’s Press.

* Ukraine – For over four years, the governments of NATO and the MSM have been waging the new cold war against Russia. This began with the ‘Maidan’ protests in Kyiv, Ukraine in early 2014 that culminated in the overthrow, universally acknowledged to have been engineered by the CIA, of Ukraine’s elected president and Parliament in February 2014. Putting in power an ultra neo-Nazi government, that in particular voiced hatred against all things Russian…and Jewish. Which MSM, TV news or newspapers, says so?

* That almost 100% of Crimea’s population are glad and grateful to be part of Russia. US, UK and EU says that is untrue, which is nonsense.

The demonisation of Russia is central to the multinational corporate interests that control our governments; the bankers protecting the steeply declining US Dollar, the institutions of the EU that are really controlled by Washington, who are preparing world public opinion to accept what the United States are now gearing up for, the “defence” of Europe.

At this point let us reflect on history by quoting one of America’s most distinguished soldiers, maybe of its entire history, General Smedley D. Butler, from his book ‘War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier.’

“No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with US patents.”

It is recommended to read more about General Smedley Butler, as he was the man chosen by US bankers and particularly the Bush family in the 1930s, to be the new fascist leader of the USA by overthrowing, in a coup, the then President Roosevelt during the period of Hitler’s rise to power. A coincidence one wonders. Butler was a true patriot; he bided his time then revealed the plot to both Congress and President Roosevelt. If you doubt this, it is suggested you research the subject.

We can stop the consolidation of power of the global military/security industrial complex, its war party associates, and specifically the US, UK and EU deep state political and financial elite that no doubt exists. We must elect new leaders, it’s that simple.

To quote Noam Chomsky “….power is always illegitimate, unless it proves itself to be legitimate. So the burden of proof is always on those who claim that some authoritarian hierarchic government is legitimate. If they can’t prove it, then it should be dismantled.”

Implicit in this statement is change by either elections or revolutions.

The French people have shown us when enough is enough by their persistent resistance to their government.

Do Europeans support the notion that the countries of the EU be the nuclear war playground of the United States?

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Google flipped seats, shifted millions of votes to Dems in 2018 midterms

Google influenced 2018 midterms, shifted millions of votes to Dems – new research.

RT

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By

Via RT…


Google’s biased search algorithm actually flipped seats in the 2018 US midterm elections, according to a researcher who found the search engine’s “dramatically biased” results could have shifted over 78 million votes to Democrats.

“Upwards of 25 percent of the national elections in the world are being decided without people’s knowledge by Google’s search algorithm,” senior research psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein of the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology told RT, calling the search engine the “deciding factor” in close races.

Epstein’s study of three 2018 California House races found Google played the deciding role in flipping those Republican-held seats to the Democrats, influencing millions of undecided voters by controlling what they saw when they searched 500 election-related terms. Google’s results showed a “significant liberal bias,” unlike Bing’s or Yahoo’s – and with 90 percent of the search engine’s market share in the US, that bias is enormously influential.

Search results favoring one side of an issue can influence anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of undecided voters, depending on the issue and demographic group, Epstein said. He has spent six years investigating the role of what he calls the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) in swaying public opinion, more recently focusing on the political ramifications by looking at various countries’ elections.

“People trust algorithmic output. They trust Google. They think because it’s generated by a computer, they don’t see the human hand – they think it’s impartial and objective and, because of that, their opinions change,” Epstein said.

While Google denies it manipulates search rankings to manipulate political sentiment or makes election-specific tweaks, Epstein says their response is disingenuous – he never claimed they re-ranked results, merely that the results they displayed were biased.

We found very consistently that on Google they ended up with search results favoring liberals and favoring liberal news sources, and it was quite a dramatic effect.

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