Diversion is a favorite strategy of Trump and Russia: Apparent diversion of fuel by Russia to North Korea; constant diversion of our attention by Trump. Diversion: “1. The act of turning aside from any course, occupation, or object;…. 3. (Mil.) The act of drawing the attention and force of an enemy from the point where the principal attack is to be made; the attack, alarm, or feint which diverts.“. https://www.websters1913.com/words/Diversion
North Korea was born as a client state of Russia (USSR) and remained one until the fall of the Soviet Union. The client state status was renewed under Putin and later reinforced due to the fact that both Russia and North Korea are under sanctions. And, did they pay Russia with the forged US dollars for which North Korea is known?
The fuel most likely originates from Exxon operated Sakhalin 1 though it could be Sakhalin 2, implicating Shell. Whether or not Exxon and former Exxon CEO, now Secretary of State, Tillerson are aware, if true, is unknown: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-I https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Neftegas https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakhalin-II
“In November, the U.S. Treasury Department disclosed satellite images that displayed what it said was a North Korean ship receiving oil from an unidentified vessel on Oct. 19. It was not immediately clear if the Lighthouse Winmore was involved in the transaction.” (See: “China Denies Involvement in Illicit Oil Shipments to North Korea” Last Updated: December 29, 2017 1:25 PM, VOA News https://www.voanews.com/a/south-korea-oil-hong-kong-north-korea/4184019.html
Reuters reports that a Russian-flagged tanker named Vityaz “transferred fuel to North Korean vessels“. Russian port control documents indicate that the Vityaz “left the port of Slavyanka near Vladivostok in Russia on October 15 with 1,600 tons of oil….” It “conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with the North Korean-flagged Sam Ma 2 tanker in open seas during October“, says the source. Reuters found that the Sam Ma 2 “turned off its transponder from the start of August“, making it impossible to track. Two more Russian-flagged vessels left the ports of Slvyanka and Nakhodka and switched off their transponders, in mid October and November. Reuters reported in September that “at least eight North Korean ships” departed Russia full of fuel in 2017 en route to North Korea. See: “Exclusive: Russian tankers fueled North Korea via transfers at sea – sources Posted:Fri, 29 Dec 2017 17:09:25 -0500 LONDON/MOSCOW – Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, according to two senior Western European security sources, providing an economic lifeline to the secretive Communist state.“. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/6JNZEk6iCoM/exclusive-russian-tankers-fueled-north-korea-via-transfers-at-sea-sources-idUSKBN1EN1OJ