President Donald J. Trump said he intends to impose additional penalties on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea. The sanctions would presumably be in retaliation for the rogue nation’s nuclear and ballistic missile testing.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, at a meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at the United Nations, a question shouted from a reporter prompted President Trump to reply: “We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea.”
President Trump did not elaborate on what those sanctions might be, or whether he’d be proposing further sanctions to the U.N.
Last week, during Friday’s daily White House press briefing, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster answered questions posed by the press. Haley was asked about tougher sanctions and threats made against North Korea by the United States, the reporter suggesting that both had been ineffectual, thus far.
Haley responded by saying it was important to begin with diplomacy. She then described the two U.N. resolutions recently passed, which were aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor, and exports to the nation and banning joint ventures.
“We have strangled their economic situation at this point,” Haley told reporters. “That’s going to take a little bit of time but it has already started to take effect.”
“What we are seeing is, they continue to be provocative,” Haley went on, “There’s not a whole lot the [U.N.] Security Council’s going to be able to [do] from here.”
She concluded her remarks by saying, “Having said that, I have no problem kicking it to [U.S. Secretary of Defense] General Mattis because I think he has plenty of options at this point.”
McMaster added, “What’s really important is rigorous enforcement of those sanctions so that we can really let the economic actions and diplomacy progress as best we can.”
“What’s different about this approach is that we’re out of time,” McMaster continued. “We’ve been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road.”
He said all nations need to come together to address the problems presented by North Korea and to try to resolve it short of war because a military option is not preferred.
McMaster said there’s consensus “among all key nations” that “denuclearization of the peninsula is the only acceptable objective.” He also reiterated that North Korea is not America’s problem but a problem for the world and that the new sanctions just need time to work.
Last week, President Trump thanked the U.N. Security Council for voting unanimously to impose the latest sanctions but indicated he found them insufficient.
“It’s just another very small step. Not a big deal … I don’t know if it has any impact, but certainly it was nice to get a 15-0 vote,” Trump said at the White House.
Haley and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are expected to brief reporters later in the day on possible further sanctions.
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