US President Donald Trump Announces Heaviest Ever Sanctions On North Korea

Feb 25, 2018, 01:31
US President Donald Trump Announces Heaviest Ever Sanctions On North Korea

"We are putting companies and countries across the world on notice that this administration views compliance with USA and United Nations sanctions as a national security imperative".

According to the U.S. Treasury, its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has also identified two Taiwan-linked entities in the new sanctions list - Taiwan-based Pro-Gain Group Corporation and Taiwan and Marshall Islands-based Kingly Won International Co., Ltd. - which are owned or controlled by Tsang. "Maybe very, very unfortunate for the world".

Trump made the statement during a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

US Vice President Mike Pence had hinted at such a sanctions package two weeks ago during a stop in Tokyo that preceded his visit to South Korea for the Pyeongchang Olympics. But hopefully the sanctions will work.

He also addressed the possibility of a naval blockade on North Korea, which the isolationist regime has previously said would be considered an act of war.

Still, it was not clear how successfully the United States could enforce the new measures.

South Korean officials, who sit in a capital well within range of conventional North Korea artillery, have been spooked by Trump's talk of military confrontation. The measures targeted 27 shipping and trading companies, 28 vessels and one person, all suspected of helping North Korea circumvent current sanctions.

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Moon said North Korea's participation in Olympics has "served as an opportunity for us to engage in active discussions between the two Koreas and this has led to lowering of tensions on the peninsula and an improvement in inter-Korean relations".

In Taipei, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) issued a statement late Friday night reiterating that the government will work closely with the worldwide community to sanction North Korea, while keeping close contacts with Washington on the matter.

According to the OFAC, Kingly Won was involved in a $1 million oil deal previous year with Independent Petroleum Company, a Russian entity sanctioned by the OFAC for operating in the North Korean energy industry. "If we can make a deal it'll be a great thing and if we can't, something will have to happen".

Washington has been talking to regional partners, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore, about coordinating a stepped-up crackdown that would go further than ever before in an attempt to squeeze Pyongyang's use of seagoing trade to feed its nuclear missile program, several officials told Reuters.

While Trump's advisors have said they do not want to take military action against the rogue regime, Trump has previously responded to North Korea's provocations with explosive rhetoric.

"The only thing missing here today is action against Chinese banks", he said.

Mnuchin added that Trump wanted other countries to know that if they helped North Korea's economy that there would be consequences.

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The White House said it had sent a personal message to President Moon from Trump regarding the announcement of the sanctions.

The Treasury Secretary warned that the countries who do business with North Korea will not be able to do business with the US. It also called on Taiwan firms and citizens not to break United Nations sanctions.

USA officials worry meanwhile that North Korea is luring Moon into talks that are created to go nowhere.

The official wasn't authorised to publicly discuss the sanctions before Mr Trump's remarks.

The Security Council past year adopted a series of resolutions to tighten and expand export bans aimed at cutting off revenue to North Korea's military programs. It defends the weapons programmes as essential to deter USA aggression.

But it has been more than two months since its last missile test.

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