The Trump administration is considering broad sanctions targeted at cutting off North Korea from the global financial system as part of a wide-ranging review of measures to counter the country’s nuclear and missile threats.
On Monday, a senior U.S. official reported that the sanctions would be included in a multipart strategy of increased economic and diplomatic pressure aimed largely at Chinese banks and companies that conduct the most business with North Korea.
Sanctions would also include a military component in the form of increased defenses by the United States and its South Korean and Japanese allies.
The Trump administration is placing priority on the sanction strategy, although U.S. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson warned Pyongyang during his Asia tour last week that the long-standing option of pre-emptive military strikes against North Korea remains a possibility.
H.R. McMaster, President Trump’s national security adviser, is preparing policy recommendations that are expected to be delivered to the president within weeks, possibly before an early-April summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping during which North Korea is expected to be a critical topic of discussion.
The president met with McMaster on Saturday regarding North Korea, asserting afterward that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, was “acting very, very badly.”
Trump spoke hours after North Korea performed a successful rocket-engine test believed by officials and experts to be part of a program aimed at developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States.
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