Trump announces new North Korea sanctions

Posted February 25, 2018

On Friday, the Trump administration announced sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses to turn up the pressure on North Korea.

He said the new sanctions are targeting virtually all shipping now being used by North Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in highlighted to Trump how the Olympics have served as a vehicle for dialogue between the two Koreas, and said the US and South Korea should make use of the current mood of rapprochement between the Koreas in seeking denuclearization. But hopefully the sanctions will work.

In addition to being caught helping North Korea export its coal, the OFAC said, Tsang was also alleged to have been involved in an oil sale deal with North Korea.

The US has been building sanctions against the regime since 2008 and the latest restrictions could come on top of sanctions announced in November - directed at North Korean shipping operations, as well as Chinese companies trading with Pyongyang.

A senior administration official told reporters that these designations are a critical part of the US' maximum pressure campaign to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea.

Donald Trump has said he is hitting North Korea with its "heaviest sanctions ever" and could move to "phase two" if they do not work.

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Sixteen North Korean shipping companies were sanctioned including Chonmyong Shipping Company Limited, Hapjanggang Shipping and Korea Achim Shipping Co.

"Through today's actions, we are putting companies and countries across the world on notice that this administration views compliance with U.S. and United Nations sanctions as a national security imperative", Mnuchin told reporters.

The announcement comes as South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics, an occasion the two Koreas have used as an opportunity to try to restart talks.

She added the United States is going to ask all its allies and partners "to step up and do more as well and join us in that effort".

Last year, he said he would bring "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on the country if it threatened the United States.

Ivanka Trump is leading a USA delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in an effort to show a softer side of U.S. diplomacy on the peninsula while calling for maximum pressure to be put on North Korea.

Over the past year, the council has adopted three sets of sanctions banning North Korean exports of coal, iron ore, textiles, seafood products and other goods.

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Ivanka Trump, a senior adviser to the president who doesn't plan to make North Korea the main focus of her visit, said the Trump administration is committed to "our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized".

The timing of the new measures coincides with the arrival in South Korea of Trump's daughter Ivanka.

The lawmaker as well as a Japanese defense ministry official involved in policy planning said that under current United Nations sanctions, the agreement of the flag state and ship captain was necessary to conduct inspections on the high seas.

It would also stretch USA military resources needed elsewhere, possibly incur massive new costs and fuel misgivings among some countries in the region.

"The latest sanctions are the strongest we have had on North Korea", White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Saturday at the Team USA House in the Yongpyong Ski Resort in Gangwon. The list includes multiple shipping firms based outside of North Korea.

While suspect ships have been intercepted before, the emerging strategy would expand the scope of such operations but stop short of imposing a total naval blockade on North Korea. North Korean General Kim Yong Chol, who is believed to have coordinated a series of attacks against the South, will lead a delegation that will attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics Sunday.

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