North Korea Goes 'Green' To Skirt UN Sanctions

North Korea is making its move into the renewable and other alternative energy business, according to a CNBC report.

North Korea, which has suffered under the weight of sanctions that have targeted the country’s need for energy, is now looking to solar, wind, tidal power, and even coal gasification—to generate power as coal, oil, fuel, and diesel imports to the blacklisted country are few and far in between.

Numerous reports have shown that North Korea has received oil shipments during the sanctions period, including ship to ship transfers, but the squeeze is on, and few countries are willing to export to North Korea in defiance of those sanctions.

In a rare move, North Korea has sent its engineers to both China and Russia to learn what they can about alternative energy, CNBC reports, in order to keep the lights on—and the military running—at home.

Talks between North Korea and the United States thus far have proved rather unfruitful, and North Korea continues to ratchet up the ways in which it can get its hands on energy as it becomes increasingly desperate to find a work around to the sanctions. Innovative methods to skirting the UN sanctions include physically disguising tankers, identity fraud, night transfers, and manipulation of vessel AIS transmission systems.

Finding a domestic, secured, and lasting energy source may seem like a longshot, but if successful, could mean to end to further negotiations.  North Korea has an abundance of coal to make gasification happen, if not the knowhow, but even if successful, it may not be sufficient—even when combined with tidal-generated energy which it also has the resources to do, to completely make up for what it loses in the sanctions.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com