North Korea sanctions: Donald Trump announces 'largest ever' package

Sixteen North Korean shipping companies were sanctioned including Chonmyong Shipping Company Limited, Hapjanggang Shipping and Korea Achim Shipping Co.

He cautioned the USA will "have to go to phase two" if the sanctions don't have Washington's desired impact, adding that "may be a very rough thing. very unfortunate for the world", Reuters news agency reported.

The US has imposed its "heaviest ever" sanctions against North Korea, President Donald Trump says, as the US seeks to prevent North Korea from further developing its nuclear programme. "As such, The United States will continue targeting persons, wherever located, who facilitate North Korea's illicit shipping practices", it said.

Trump threatened to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea and also called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a "Little Rocket Man", while North Korea denounced Trump as a "mentally deranged" USA dotard.

The Trump administration escalated pressure on North Korea Friday by slapping sanctions on scores of companies and ships accused of illicit trading with the pariah nation.

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence had hinted at such a package two weeks ago during a stop in Tokyo that preceded his visit to South Korea.

Last year, North Korea carried out dozens of missile launches as well as its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. It defends the weapons programs as essential to deter US aggression.

She will be heading up the USA delegation attending the closing ceremony for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

North Korea is known to falsify and hide information displayed on North Korean vessels, and to conduct ship-to-ship transfers prohibited under a UN Security Council resolution issued in September, the Treasury said.

This computer-generated image shows U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and Kim Yong-chol a top North Korean party official
This computer-generated image shows U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and Kim Yong-chol a top North Korean party official

Friday's sanctions announcement is a continuation of the Trump administration's "campaign of maximum pressure" against the North Korean regime. His delegation will attend the closing ceremony and also meet Moon.

The move, after a lull in tensions during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, indicated that the White House intends to renew pressure against Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program.

He said close cooperation between the US and South Korea is important for the talks.

Moon made the comments to Ivanka.

"I've known the Prime Minister a very long time, he's trying to focus on a very similar take on economic agenda to what we've done", Mr Mnuchin said.

Relations between the North and the South have been closely watched for the duration of the games. North Korea has denied any involvement.

Treasury, along with the State Department and US Coast Guard, also warned the public of significant sanctions they could face if they help to enable any shipments to goods to and from North Korea in an advisory.

He said he could not rule out the prospect of the United States boarding and inspecting North Korean ships. She added that discussions with South Korea would touch on "joint values and strategic cooperation as partners and allies".


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