Donald Trump says launching 'largest-ever' package of North Korea sanctions

A Chinese vendor hands change to a North Korean customer who gave him a US $100 bill at an international trade fair in the North Korean capital Pyongyang Sept. 25 2017

Mr Trump will say: "Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest-ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime".

The measures target 28 vessels and 27 trading and maritime transport companies linked to North Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, and Comoros, along with one Taiwanese individual, according to a list released by the U.S. Treasury Department.

North Korea already faces the most severe sanctions imposed by the U.S. The additional sanctions follow a year of escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over its ballistic missile testing and nuclear development programs.

The move comes on the heels of reports in recent months that China and other countries have circumvented sanctions restricting imports of refined petroleum products to North Korea by making the transfers at sea.

A Japanese maritime Self-Defense Force PC-3 surveillance plane and an escort ship saw a North Korean-flagged tanker alongside a smaller ship on February 16 about 250 kilometers off Shanghai in the East China Sea, Japan's foreign ministry said late Tuesday. Months of tension were marked by Trump and Kim exchanging insults, fueling fears of war, until this month when the relationship between North Korea and US ally South Korea showed signs of thawing.

Munchen was flanked by satellite imagery from December 2017 of the illicit ship to ship transfers of fuel destined for North Korea in an attempt to evade prior sanctions.

The Chinese government has earlier issued a notice "explicitly prohibiting smuggling by ship-to-ship transfer", Geng said.




North Korea's Mission asked Guterres "to refrain from his behavior acts like somnambulist" and understand that the nuclear threat is from the U.

The United States on Friday unveiled what it called "the largest North Korea-related sanctions tranche to date" as the Trump Administration continues to seek ways to isolate the rogue nuclear state.

China has repeatedly said it is fully enforcing all resolutions against North Korea, despite suspicion in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo that loopholes still exist.

In September, it barred ships and aircraft from US soil and ports within 180 days of being in North Korea.

During his Asian tour, Pence denounced the North's nuclear drive and sought to shore up ties with regional allies - and longtime North Korean foes - Japan and South 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".

In a related move, Washington also proposed a list of entities to be blacklisted under United Nations sanctions on North Korea, a move that targets the North's smuggling of oil and coal.

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