Donald Trump has issued a new executive order that expands US sanctions on North Korea’s shipping, banking, ports and manufacturing. Trump also claimed China’s banking system had shut down business with the country. Reuters reported earlier in the day that China’s central bank had ordered financial institutions to implement UN sanctions rigorously after frequent complaints from Washington that Beijing was leaving open too many loopholes. Trump thanked China’s President Xi Jinping and said the move was “very bold” and “somewhat unexpected”. There was no immediate confirmation from the Chinese government that it had imposed a financial embargo on North Korea. If confirmed, it would represent a significant tightening of the economic noose around the Pyongyang regime, by a country which accounts for 90% of its trade. But it is unclear whether any amount of financial or economic pain would induce Kim Jong-un to relinquish North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles, which he believes are essential for the regime’s survival. Trump announced the new executive order during a working lunch with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, and Shinzō Abe, the Japanese prime minister. “Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop… Read full this story
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