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Trump announces 'heaviest sanctions ever' against N. Korea

Trump announces 'heaviest sanctions ever' against N. Koreaā€¯

US President Donald Trump on Friday announced the "heaviest ever" set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime.

On Friday, the Trump administration announced sanctions on more than 50 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses to turn up the pressure on North Korea.

The ships are located, registered or flagged in North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama and Comoros. According to OFAC, the foreign vessels designated were used to export coal from North Korea as well as engaging in ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products.

"Today's actions will significantly hinder North Korea's ability to conduct evasive maritime activities that facilitate illicit coal and fuel transports, and limit the regime's ability to ship goods through global waters", Mnuchin said.

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The plan centers around rallying the global community to further isolate North Korea both diplomatically and economically. Pence was in South Korea for the opening of the Winter Olympics .

The Treasury Department says the shippers are participating in a complex scheme to help North Korea dodge United Nations restrictions against imports of refined fuel and exports of coal. "Hopefully, something positive can happen".

"North Korea's participation in the Winter Olympic Games has served as an opportunity for us to engage in active discussions between the two Koreas and this has led to lowering of tensions on the peninsula and an improvement in inter-Korean relations", Moon said.

Speculation is high in South Korea that she might deliver a message from President Trump on North Korea.

"We are determined through these efforts to increase the pressure and show Kim Jong Un that there is no other path to take but denuclearization", one official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity, told reporters ahead of Trump's remarks.

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"As part of the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea, the United States is committed to disrupting North Korea's illicit funding of its weapons programs, regardless of the location or nationality of those facilitating such funding", said a statement by the Treasury Department.

Nine worldwide shipping companies and nine vessels were also added to the United States sanctions list: Asia Bridge 1, Hao Fan 2 and Xin Guang Hai.

"Parties subject to US and/or United Nations (UN) sanctions should be aware of these practices in order to implement appropriate controls to ensure compliance with their legal requirements", it said. We'll just have to wait and see.

"Those who trade with North Korea do so at their own peril", Mnuchin said.

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South Korea's first lady Kim Jung-sook (C), Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (R) and Ivanka Trump, the USA president's daughter and senior advisor, watch the men's big air final competition at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the northeastern city of PyeongChang on February 24, 2018. "Like his predecessors, President Trump remains reluctant to go after Chinese financial entities aiding North Korea's prohibited nuclear and missile programs".

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