China promises to 'deal seriously' with sanctions violators

China's government has promised to deal with possible violators of U.N. sanctions on North Korea after South Korean news reported that Chinese ships registered abroad delivered oil to the North. 

The newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported this week, citing shipping registration documents, that vessels owned by companies in mainland China but registered in Panama, Belize and other countries, were suspected of improperly supplying oil to North Korea. 

The paper maintained that ships operated by Chinese firms will fly flags from different countries in order to evade detection.   

Geng Shuang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said Friday that Beijing has no information regarding operations of ships registered in other countries.

"If it is confirmed through investigation there are violations of Security Council resolutions, China will deal seriously with them in accordance with laws and regulations," Geng said. 

According to Chosun Ilbo, satellite images from U.S. intelligence has detected Chinese vessels selling oil to North Korea approximately 30 times since October.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.