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Trump announces new sanctions on DPRK

By ZHAO HUANXIN in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-02-24 03:05

The Trump White House announced on Friday it is imposing what it billed as the "largest-ever" packages of sanctions on Pyongyang, as Washington intensifies its maximum pressure campaign against the nuclear program of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control today announced the largest North Korea-related sanctions tranche to date, aimed at disrupting North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels to further isolate the regime and advance the US maximum pressure campaign," the department said in a statement.  

The statement said the Treasury Department is aggressively targeting all illicit avenues used by North Korea to evade sanctions, including taking decisive action to block the vessels, shipping companies, and entities across the globe that work on North Korea's behalf.

In all, Friday's action targets one individual, 27 entities, and 28 vessels, according to the statement on the Treasury Department's website.

In a speech on Friday that he delivered to a conservative activist group, Trump announced at the end of his remarks that the US was imposing "the heaviest sanctions ever imposed by our country before. And frankly, hopefully something positive can happen. We will see, but hopefully something positive can happen''.

Friday's action came nearly six months after US Vice-President Mike Pence said that the United States would soon roll out the "toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever".

Pence made his remarks on Feb 7 in Tokyo before heading to Pyeongchang, South Korea, to lead the US delegation at the Winter Olympics.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser, arrived in South Korea on Friday to attend the closing ceremony of the Winter Games this weekend.

At a dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, she reaffirmed US commitment to amaximum pressure campaign to "ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized", The Associated Press reported.

In a tweet posted early Friday, Trump touted his daughter as the best representative of the country. "My daughter, Ivanka, just arrived in South Korea. We cannot have a better, or smarter, person representing our country," he tweeted.

On Thursday, while commenting on the Korea Peninsula situation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that the only way to break the deadlock where the Korean Peninsula situation has been stuck in a vicious cycle is to have dialogue and negotiation.

"Now with the ROK and the DPRK having taken the first precious steps, we hope that all the other relevant parties could jointly preserve and sustain such hard-won momentum of engagement, so that interactions between the ROK and the DPRK would be expanded to those among all parties, especially between the DPRK and the US, and we will be nearing the goal of pushing open the door for dialogue to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue," Geng told a regular briefing on Thursday in Beijing.

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