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Trump Adds More Sanctions on NKorea    09/22 05:43

   President Donald Trump has added economic action to his fiery military 
threats against North Korea, authorizing stiffer new sanctions in response to 
the Koreans' nuclear weapons advances.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- President Donald Trump has added economic action to his 
fiery military threats against North Korea, authorizing stiffer new sanctions 
in response to the Koreans' nuclear weapons advances.

   Trump's latest steps to punish foreign companies that deal with the North 
was the latest salvo in a U.S.-led campaign to isolate and impoverish the 
government of Kim Jong Un until it halts the missile and nuclear tests. Trump 
announced the measures Thursday as he met leaders from South Korea and Japan, 
the nations most immediately imperiled by North Korea's threats of a military 

   "North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to 
peace and security in our world and it is unacceptable that others financially 
support this criminal, rogue regime," Trump said as he joined Japanese Prime 
Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for lunch. 
"Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now."

   Hours later, Kim branded Trump as "deranged" and warned that he will "pay 
dearly" for his threat to "totally destroy" the North if it attacks. The rare 
statement from the North Korean leader responded to Trump's combative speech 
days earlier where he not only issued the warning of potential obliteration for 
the isolated nation, but also mocked the North's young autocrat as a "Rocket 
Man" on a "suicide mission."

   Returning insult with insult, Kim said Trump was "unfit to hold the 
prerogative of supreme command of a country." He described the president as "a 
rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire." He characterized Trump's 
speech to the world body on Tuesday as "mentally deranged behavior."

   Trump's executive order expanded the Treasury Department's ability to target 
anyone conducting significant trade in goods, services or technology with North 
Korea, and to ban them from interacting with the U.S. financial system.

   "Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the 
United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated 
supporters," the order says. It also issues a 180-day ban on vessels and 
aircraft that have visited North Korea from visiting the United States.

   Trump also said China was imposing major banking sanctions, too, but there 
was no immediate confirmation from the North's most important trading partner. 
China's central bank would not take questions by phone Friday and did not 
immediately respond to a faxed request for comment.

   Trump praised China for instructing its banks to cut off business with 
Pyongyang, but neither the Chinese nor Trump officials were ready to say so. 
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he had spoken at length Thursday with the 
head of China's central bank but "I am not going to comment on confidential 

   If enforced, the Chinese action Trump described could severely impede the 
isolated North's ability to raise money for its missile and nuclear 
development. China, responsible for about 90 percent of North Korea's trade, 
serves as the country's conduit to the international banking system.

   Trump said the China action he described "was a somewhat unexpected move and 
we appreciate it."

   China remains leery of pressuring North Korea into collapse and has resisted 
cutting off its critical oil supplies, not wanting chaos on its border. Along 
with Russia, China wants the U.S. to seek dialogue with the North. American 
officials say the time isn't right for any formal diplomatic process. Foreign 
Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that negotiations are the "only way out" of the 
nuclear standoff.

   Several news outlets this month have reported Chinese steps to restrict 
banking transactions, but the government hasn't made a formal announcement. 
Asked for comment last week, the Foreign Ministry said China has always fully 
implemented U.N. sanctions on North Korea but opposes "unilateral" restrictions 
imposed by another country on Chinese entities. China's embassy in Washington 
declined to comment Thursday.


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