Donald Trump has said the US will impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s developing nuclear programme and increasingly aggressive missile demonstrations.
The announcement came as the Chinese central bank told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang amid American concerns, Beijing isn’t being tough enough in response to North Korea’s nuclear threat.
“We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea,” Mr Trump said during a meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Thursday. The announcement came days after the President taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, calling him “Rocket Man” in a speech to the UN General Assembly, and saying that the Korean leader was on a “suicide mission”.
The draft executive order will allow the United States to target individuals, businesses, and financial institutions that help North Korea’s regime, Mr Trump said. In those remarks, the President called North Korea a “rogue regime” and a “grave threat” to the world. Some reports indicate that the sanctions could target oil.
Mr Trump also met with the leaders of South Korea and Japan, two American allies who have been threatened by North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.
The most recent nuclear test – the sixth and most powerful yet – occurred on September 3 and prompted the UN to impose further sanctions on the country. Mr Kim has also launched missiles over Japan recently.
“North Korea has continued to make provocations, and this is extremely deplorable,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, of the nuclear test. “But the US has responded firmly, and in a very good way.”
The US President issued a stern warning to North Korea earlier in the week during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly. Mr Trump said then that the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if Pyongyang forced America or its allies to defend itself against a nuclear attack. Still, Mr Trump expressed optimism that North Korea would end its testing and come to the negotiating table as a result of economic and diplomatic pressure.
“We must do much more,” Mr Trump said during that speech in New York. “It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behaviour.”
The news, reported by Reuters, that Chinese banks are being told to begin honouring the UN sanctions came amid concerns that those banks are serving as financial conduits for an increasingly isolated North Korea.