U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States will add more sanctions against North Korea, while U.S. allies have called for enforcing existing international sanctions as the best way to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.
NEW YORK CITY — President Trump said Thursday he will seek to ramp up economic pressure on North Korea by signing an executive order that cracks down on anyone who does business with the hermit nation.
Trump and his aides say they hope to resolve the stand-off over nuclear weapons without resorting to military action.
The executive order will give the Treasury Department more authority to target individuals, businesses, and institutions that facilitate trade with what Trump called North Korea’s “criminal rogue regime” as it builds nuclear weapons that pose a “grave threat” to the world.
The goal is to “cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind,” Trump said before a joint meeting with the presidents of South Korea and Japan.
Trump also praised China’s “very bold move” to order its banks to stop doing business with their neighbors in North Korea.
Demanding the “complete de-nuclearization” of North Korea, Trump welcomed support from South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who described North Korea’s nuclear threats as intolerable.
Trump also appeared to hold out the possibility of negotiations with Kim Jong Un’s government. When a reporter asked if diplomacy was still possible, Trump responded: “Why not?”
The United States and United Nations have previously slapped sanctions on North Korea, but it has continued to upgrade its nuclear weapons program. It has threatened attacks on South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. mainland and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3.
During an earlier meeting with Moon, who described North Korea’s nuclear provocations as “extremely deplorable,” Trump couldn’t resist the opportunity to reference his former political rival Hillary Clinton.
“I’m very happy you used the word ‘deplorable,'” Trump told Moon, referring to the time Clinton used that term to describe some of his supporters. “That’s been a very lucky word for me and many millions of people.”
The meetings come two…