USA pushes more United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea oil, coal smuggling

USA pushes more United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea oil, coal smuggling

USA pushes more United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea oil, coal smuggling

The American action is part of the ongoing maximum economic pressure campaign to cut off sources of revenue that the North Korean regime derives from the United Nations and U.S. prohibited trade to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, he added.

In August, Trump threatened to go beyond sanctions by bringing "fire and fury like the world has never seen", although his administration has repeatedly said it prefers a diplomatic solution to the crisis. "But hopefully the sanctions will work", Trump said. China has lodged "stern representations" with the United States over the sanctions, whose targets include a Taiwan passport holder, as well as shipping and energy firms in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. The actions block assets held by the firms and individuals in the United States and prohibit U.S. citizens from dealing with them.

"These actions represent the latest development in the coordinated, whole-of-government USA effort to disrupt, deter and dismantle North Korea's illicit maritime shipping activities that Pyongyang uses to skirt United Nations sanctions, and to fund its WMD programs and delivery systems", the official said.

A North Korean delegation, led by Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, will also attend Sunday's closing ceremony.

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

Mnuchin said there were signs the punitive measures were starting to have an impact, but did not elaborate.

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.

In light of past USA embargoes, that is likely an overstatement, but Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed the sanctions covered "virtually all the ships" North Korea is "using at this moment in time".

The strategy calls for closer tracking and possible seizure of ships suspected of carrying banned weapons components and other prohibited cargo to or from North Korea, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A senior administration official told reporters that these designations are a critical part of the US' maximum pressure campaign to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea.

"Mrs. Trump delivered a personal message to President Moon from President Trump about today's North Korea related sanctions announcement at a small meeting at the Blue House", the White House said.

Japan also supported the new sanctions, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said, according to the Kyodo news agency.

Reuters was unable to locate contact details for the Chinese companies listed in the new USA sanctions.

The Treasury Department, in conjunction with the State Department and the U.S. Coast Guard, is issuing a global shipping advisory meant to alert the world to North Korea's "deceptive shipping practices", the official said.

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