Report: No ‘Obvious Signs’ Of Trump Claim ‘Long Gas Lines Forming’ In NK

Andrew Harnik/AP

Contrary to President Donald Trump’s claims, there aren’t any “obvious signs” of gas lines in North Korea, according to the Washington Post.

At the United States’ urging, the United Nations Security Council recently passed additional sanctions against the totalitarian state for its leader Kim Jong Un’s continued testing of nuclear-capable missiles, and recently, another underground nuclear test. The sanctions slash North Korean oil imports by 30 percent, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said. The U.S. had originally requested a complete oil embargo but faced potential vetoes from China and Russia, the Post reported.

Trump claimed Sunday that there were “[l]ong gas lines forming in North Korea,” but that the claim wasn’t supported by on-the-ground accounts, according to the newspaper:

One foreign resident of Pyongyang told the Post, “we are not aware of any long queues at the gas stations,” adding: “At least, I haven’t noticed anything. I asked a few Koreans, and they haven’t seen anything either.”

Another foreign resident told the newspaper that traffic “was as heavy here as I’ve seen it” on Friday, “normal” on Saturday and “quieter” on Sunday.

Though the Post reported that there were “no obvious signs” of gas lines forming in the country, it did note a roughly 25 percent uptick in gas prices after the nuclear test, according to the Seoul-based Daily NK, which cited unnamed “inside informants on the ground in North Korea.”

Daily NK reported there was precedent for the North Korean regime restricting the oil supply in anticipation of global sanctions.

The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos, in a lengthy profile on Kim and the prospect of nuclear war, reported, referring to the North Korean capital: “For decades, there were few cars on the streets, but now frequent foreign visitors marvel at the growth in traffic.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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