USA to impose 'largest ever' N Korea sanctions

China Investigates Suspected North Korea Sanctions Breach
Flags of China and North Korea outside the closed Restaurant in China
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25 February, 2018

"We welcome the USA delegation, including (Trump's) advisor Ivanka", Kim Hyun, the party's spokeswoman, told reporters.

Washington said on Friday it was imposing its largest package of sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear missile program, and US President Donald Trump warned of a "phase two" if the steps did not work.

The US government said the targets have been supporting North Korea's efforts to smuggle oil and coal, in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

"The Treasury Department will soon be taking new action to further cut off sources of revenue and fuel that the regime uses to fund its nuclear program and sustain its military by targeting 56 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses that are assisting North Korea in evading sanctions".

North Korean vessels, which are prohibited under the UN Security Council.

Liberty Shipping Co. Ltd., Chang An Shipping & Technology, Hongxiang Marine Hong Kong Ltd., Shen Zhong International Shipping Ltd. and Huaxin Shipping HongKong Ltd. are all based in Hong Kong.

Summary: President Donald Trump has put new trade sanctions on North Korea.

A Japanese ruling party lawmaker briefed by the government said discussions with the United States were focused on the need for stepped up cooperation on surveillance and information-sharing between Washington, Tokyo and Seoul regarding ship-to-ship transfers suspected of violating sanctions, and on the need to notify authorities in ports of origin.

Ivanka Trump, who is one of her father's close advisers, is leading the US delegation at this weekend's closing ceremony for the Pyeongchang Games.

Mnuchin said the number of sanctions steps taken by the United States against Pyongyang since 2005 was now 450 with approximately half imposed in the past year.

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Meanwhile an improvement in relations between North Korea and South Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics appears to have hit a stumbling block.

Earlier Friday, Trump announced the "heaviest sanctions ever imposed" against North Korea, part of what the White House bills as a "maximum pressure" campaign against the North. Tsang declined to talk to a reporter from Taiwan's Apple Daily on Saturday morning, according to video footage from the newspaper.

As Trump landed in Seoul, the U.S. announced a new round of sanctions against Pyongyang in an effort to curb the country's nuclear and missile programs. His delegation will attend the closing ceremony and also meet Moon.

"Mrs Trump delivered a personal message to President Moon from President Trump about today's North Korea related sanctions announcement at a small meeting at the Blue House", the White House said. "We are going to continue in that form".

USA action is part of the current campaign of maximum economic pressure to cut the sources of income that the North Korean regime derives from the banned trade of the United Nations and the United States to finance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, he added.

Trump did not say what that phase would entail.

While the games appear to have paved the way for possible rapprochement between the Koreas, U.S. and North Korean officials have yet to make direct contact.

"A lot of the companies working with North Korea are very small", Samore said.

According to Reuters, the United States "strategy calls for closer tracking and possible seizure of ships suspected of carrying banned weapons components and other prohibited cargo to or from North Korea, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity".

While these sanctions exclusively focus on "illicit maritime activity", administration officials made it clear that they are part of the maximum pressure campaign aimed at denuclearization.


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