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Trump orders widened sanctions targeting North Korean trade and cash flow

Trump orders widened sanctions targeting North Korean trade and cash flow
From CBC - September 21, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new executive order Thursday that he says will help the United States target specific people, companies and banks financing and facilitating trade with North Korea.

He added that the effort will also target North Korea's shipping and trade networks. The order gives the U.S. treasury department discretion to sanction foreign banks that conduct transactions involving North Korea.

Trump stopped short of going after North Korea's biggest trading partner, China, and in fact praised its central bank for ordering Chinese banks to stop doing business with North Korea.China is North Korea's main trading partner and conduit for international transactions. Washington has been pushing China to scale back economic and financial ties to further isolate Pyongyang.

Trump was speaking from the United Nations in New York City, where world leaders are gathered for a meeting of the General Assembly. He was accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister ShinzoAbe, who expressed concern about North Korea's ongoing tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

When a reporter asked Trump if dialogue with the North Korean regime werestill possible, he said, "Why not?"

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will also hold a news briefing at 3 p.m., and UN ambassador Nikki Haley will brief the media at 4:30 p.m., the White House said.

Trump told the General Assembly this week that the U.S. will have no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if the North continues to threaten the U.S. and its allies, including neighbours South Korea and Japan.

Earlier Thursday, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said Fox News Channel: "We do not desire a military conflict. But the president has made it very clear, as he did at the UNthis week, that all options are on the table and we are simply not going to tolerate a rogue regime in Pyongyang obtaining usable nuclear weapons that could be mounted on a ballistic missile and threaten the people of the United States or our allies."

North Korea is the likely topic of discussion when Trump holds separate talks later Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Abe. The three leaders will also meet over lunch.

'We are ready to assist'

Much rhetoric, few details

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