US & Canada
US & Canada
US to impose ‘largest’ N Korea sanctions
US President Donald Trump says he is launching the “largest ever” set of new sanctions against North Korea. The measures will target more than 50 ships and maritime transport companies. “Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest-ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime,” Mr Trump said in sections of a speech released in advance.North Korea is already under a range of international and US sanctions over its nuclear programme and missile tests.”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 programme and sustain its military by targeting 56 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses that are assisting North Korea in evading sanctions,” Mr Trump said. The treasury department lists one individual and 27 companies, mostly maritime companies based in North Korea and China, but also Taiwan. Twenty-eight ships are on the list, again mostly North Korean. The US has been building sanctions against the regime since 2008 and the latest restrictions could come on top of sanctions announced in November – directed at North Korean shipping operations, as well as Chinese companies trading with Pyongyang. The United Nations followed that up in December with a raft of sanctions, backed by all 15 members of the Security Council, which included measures to cut North Korea’s petrol imports by up to 90%.North Korea’s controversial Olympics delegate
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‘Charm offensive’Mr Trump’s announcement comes as North Korea conducts what is being seen by Western powers as a charm offensive at the Winter Olympics in South Korea. US leaders have been keen to stress that North Korea still poses a nuclear threat despite warming ties with the South. The president’s daughter, Ivanka, is in South Korea to attend the closing ceremony of the Games and Vice-President Mike Pence was there for the opening. However, no meetings have taken place with senior North Korean officials attending, including Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.North Korea baby rumours fascinate SouthNorth Korea has continued to conduct missile and nuclear tests despite sanctions against it. Last year saw the first test of a long-range missile thought capable of reaching Washington, but it is still not clear if North Korea has mastered the technology needed to miniaturise a nuclear device for a warhead. North Korea’s response to sanctions
30 November 2016: UN sanctions targeted North Korea’s valuable coal trade with China, slashing exports by about 60% under a new sales cap. Exports of copper, nickel, silver, zinc and the sale of statues were also banned
What happened next? On 14 May 2017, North Korea tested what it said was a “newly developed ballistic rocket” capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead
2 June 2017: UN imposed a travel ban and asset freeze on four entities and 14 officials, including the head of North Korea’s overseas spying operations
What happened next? On 4 July, North Korea claimed it had carried out its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)
6 August 2017: UN banned North Korean exports of coal, ore and other raw materials and limited investments in the country, costing Pyongyang an estimated $1bn – about a third of its export economy
What happened next? On 3 September, North Korea said it had tested a hydrogen bomb that could be miniaturised and loaded on a long-range missile.