US announces new DPRK sanctions

World Today

The United States says it’s stepping up sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Announcing what The White House is calling the “largest-ever set of new sanctions” against Pyongyang. They target 27 shipping companies, 28 vessels and 1 individual in an effort to stop ships delivering illicit oil and coal to Pyongyang.

The U.S. says it is making sure that recent United Nations Security Council sanctions are implemented.

The U.S. says the DPRK is getting desperate after the U.N. imposed caps on energy imports to the DPRK. The White House says fuel shipments are down 89 percent, and says Pyongyang is resorting to illicit shipments of oil that are illegally transferred between ships at sea and then smuggled into the country.

Affected companies and countries are from across the world, including China, Russia, Panama, and Tanzania.

The U.S. will issue a global shipping advisory and are warning of “significant consequences for evasion.” The White House says it expects all countries to comply and will not hesitate to take action against those who do not.

Washington says it’s pressure campaign will continue until the DPRK agrees to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. move comes as the Winter Olympics in the Republic of Korea come to a close. President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, arrived in Seoul Friday to meet with ROK President Moon Jae-in. On Sunday, she will attend the games’ closing ceremony in Pyeongchang. The Winter Games saw a thaw between Pyongyang and Seoul, which fielded a unified Korean team and saw high level talks between the two nations.

Pyongyang invited the South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the DPRK for talks with Kim Jong-un. The U.S., meanwhile, says the DPRK cancelled at the last minute a planned meeting between U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and DPRK officials.

Lisa Collins on the latest round of US sanctions on the DPRK

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Lisa Collins, a fellow and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, about the significance of the latest round of sanctions and its potential consequences for diplomacy on the Korean peninsula.