Home GRASP GRASP/Korea Trump announces new sanctions against North Korea, but China's role remains key

Trump announces new sanctions against North Korea, but China's role remains key


Trump announces new sanctions against North Korea as he struggles to confront its nuclear activities
President Trump announced Thursday a new round of sanctions against North Korea as he struggles to confront that country’s determination to build a nuclear arsenal.
After threatening earlier this week to “totally destroy” North Korea if it uses its nuclear weaponry against U. S. territory or allies, Trump told reporters he was issuing a new executive order, adding more sanctions to those that the United States and allies already have imposed.
He said the measures would target North Korea’s textiles, fishing industry and shipping. Sanctions against those industries are already in place, so it was not clear what was different about the additional ones.
“The brutal North Korean regime does not respect its own citizens or the sovereignty of other nations,” Trump said. “Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind.’
Under the executive order, the U. S. Treasury Department will be able to blacklist any businesses and individuals trading or doing financial work with North Korea.
That could force other nations and foreign businesses to make a choice: “Do business with the United States … or the lawless regime” of North Korea,” Trump said.
He repeated that he wants nothing less than “a complete denuclearization of North Korea.” Many observers call that standard all but impossible, given Pyongyang’s progress to date.
Trump, on the margins of the annual United Nations General Assembly, also met Thursday with the presidents of Japan and South Korea, the two neighbors of North Korea with the most at stake in the showdown.
Japan’s President Shinzo Abe praised Trump’s willingness to push North Korea to the negotiating table, adding that “dialogue for the sake of dialogue would not produce anything.” Abe, who spent a weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in February, repeatedly referred to Trump as “Donald.”
“The key at this moment is to exercise and apply pressure against North Korea in a robust manner,” Abe said. “And together with Donald we have been successfully demonstrating our strong will to exercise pressure against North Korea.”
Trump, asked by a reporter if diplomatic talks with North Korea were still possible, said, “Why not?”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also voiced concerns about North Korea’s behavior but he, too, has advocated diplomacy and dialogue, not the military option that Trump at times suggests he is considering. Most experts think a military response to North Korea could lead to catastrophic violence against the southern half of the peninsula, where thousands of American troops are stationed.
“North Korea has continued to make provocations, and this is extremely deplorable and this has angered both me and our people,” Moon said, adding he was grateful for the United States’ firm response.

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