North Korea: Donald Trump announces new sanctions as China orders banks to stop working with regime

The President previously threatened to 'totally destroy' North Korea

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 21 September 2017 18:41 BST
Donald Trump announces new sanctions on North Korea

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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.

Donald Trump's threat is 'sound of a dog barking' say North Korea

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.

A documented reportedly distributed by the central bank to other financial institutions asked those banks to fully implement the UN sanctions, and were warned of economic and reputational risks should they refuse to do so. The letter instructed the banks to halt services for new North Korean clients, and to wind down existing loans.

Mr Trump and Mr Kim have been testing each other for months now, and the President has employed increasingly harsh tones to discuss Mr KIm. After North Korea threatened to launch a missile at the American territory Guam, Mr Trump promised that the US would bring "fire and fury" to North Korea if the country continued to threaten the US and its allies.

Those threats haven't yet stopped Mr Kim from launching missile and nuclear tests. Instead, the country has upped the ante, launching two missiles directly over Japan, prompting officials there to worry that North Korea may be on the verge of launching an actual attack that could embroil the region in what would likely be a bloody and devastating war.

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