United States slaps sanctions on North Korean banks, executives

Marcus Newton
September 29, 2017

China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea's foreign trade and is under constant pressure from the US and others to tighten the screws on its neighbor and former close Communist ally.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson answers a question from the media on North Korea, while meeting with the Holy See Secretary for Relations with States Paul Gallagher, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, at the State Department in Washington.

Bellicose statements by Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have created fears that a miscalculation could lead to action with untold ramifications.

Trump blamed previous US presidents for failing to deal with the North Korean threat.

China, which provides the bulk of North Korea's energy supplies, announced Saturday it would cut off gas and limit shipments of refined petroleum products, effective January 1.

Former general Rob Givens, who served in US Air Force, said that in event of a war in Korea, only 20,000 people die per day in South Korea, according to Pentagon estimates.

China warned Tuesday that any conflict on the Korean peninsula would have "no winners", after North Korea accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on it.

The latest measure of economic warfare comes just days after President Trump signed an executive order giving Mnuchin greater power to slap a range of sanctions aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear efforts.

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Last Sunday, the USA bombers flew in worldwide airspace off the North Korean eastern coast.

Trump repeated praise he offered last week for China's reported breaking off of banking relations with North Korea.

Evans Revere, a former senior diplomat who met with a North Korean delegation in Switzerland this month, said that Pyongyang had been reaching out to "organizations and individuals" to encourage talks with former U.S. officials to get a sense of the Trump administration's thinking.

There has been no official confirmation from China of such a step.

They also ban sales of natural gas to North Korea and purchases of the North's textile exports, another key revenue source.

They come as the United Nations has also recently passed its toughest sanctions package targeting North Korea.

North Korea has conducted almost two dozen missile tests this year, testing a variety of new systems, including an intercontinental ballistic missile able to deliver a nuclear payload to a USA city.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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