President Trump announced a new round of shipping sanctions against North Korea to stop oil and other prohibited products from reaching the country.
The new package of sanctions is the latest measure to try to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear arms programs.
One person, 27 companies and 28 vessels have been sanctioned, according to the Treasury Department. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the sanctions would prevent Pyongyang from carrying out “evasive maritime activities that facilitate illicit coal and fuel transports and erode its abilities to ship goods through international waters.”
The sanctions, described by the Treasury as its largest package, will block assets held by the firms in the U.S., and prevent U.S. companies from dealing with them. Most of the named ships and companies were based in North Korea but some are based in China, Singapore, Taiwan, Panama, Tanzania, the Marshall Islands and Comoros.
The sanctions are the latest measure to deter Kim Jong-un from developing a missile capable of reaching the United States, after a series of ballistic missile tests and a ferocious war of words between the North Korean leader and Trump last year. Kim has claimed he will never give up his nuclear program, though, and says it has made rapid advances in the past year.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., today, Trump said, “We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed. Hopefully, something positive can happen. We will see.”
The Treasury Department also released pictures that it claims show false identification information on North Korean ships in order to highlight deceptive shipping practices used by North Korea to evade sanctions.
Mnuchin went on to say that the Treasury Department and the U.S. Coast Guard are “aggressively targeting all illicit avenues used by North Korea to evade sanctions, including taking decisive action to block vessels, shipping companies, and entities across the globe that work on North Korea’s behalf.”