Ryan Pickrell, DCNF
The Trump administration is tightening the noose on North Korea, strangling the life out of its economy like never before.
President Donald Trump announced Friday that he is hitting the rogue regime with tough new sanctions. With an emphasis on the overseas trade, the U.S. is blacklisting 56 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses that are helping North Korea skirt sanctions. This is said to be the largest punitive sanctions package targeting North Korea.
In fact, these measures are the “heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country,” the president revealed at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
The Department of the Treasury is taking action to cut off the sources of revenue that sustain the country’s militant activities.The latest batch of sanctions is a continuation of the maximum pressure campaign against the North Korean regime.
The new measures, in addition to targeting North Korean entities, also hit Chinese companies that have been illegally aiding the Pyongyang. From the start of his presidency, Trump has pushed Beijing to leverage its ties to North Korea to put pressure on the regime, and while China has taken steps to rein in its nuclear neighbor, the Trump administration feels the Chinese can do more.
North Korea advanced its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development programs at an alarming rate last year, testing intercontinental ballistic missiles able to range the continental U.S. and hydrogen bombs designed to level entire cities.
During his recent trip to the Asia Pacific, Vice President Mike Pence offered a preview of the latest move in the administration’s maximum pressure campaign, revealing in Japan the president’s plan to hammer North Korea with the “toughest sanctions ever.”
The North Korean regime is facing unprecedented levels of pressure.
Some observers in South Korea suspect that North Korea’s cash flow is drying up, so much so that the North could be effectively broke by October. A former North Korean financial official revealed last year that it is unlikely that North Korea can survive the hard-hitting sanctions it presently faces.
The Trump administration has time and time again expressed its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic resolution, but all options — including the application of military force — remain on the table.
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