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US President Donald Trump Announces Heaviest Ever Sanctions On North Korea

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| February 24 , 2018 , 14:13 IST

The United States announced its heaviest ever sanctions on North Korea on Saturday to pressure the reclusive country into giving up its nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes.

"North Korea - we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before," Trump said.

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary, said the latest US actions will target shipping and trade companies, vessels and individuals across the world working for North Korea, to ensure the closure of their trade support.

"This action targets the deceptive shipping practices that have enabled the Kim regime to fund its dangerous weapons programmes," Mnuchin told the reporters at White House.

Mnuchin said the sanctions were against 27 entities, 28 vessels and one individual, totalling 56 designations.

"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 international waters." Mnuchin further added.

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US action is part of the current campaign of maximum economic pressure to cut the sources of income that the North Korean regime derives from the banned trade of the United Nations and the United States to finance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, he added.

The United States is also issuing a global shipping advisory along with the Coast Guard and the State Department to inform everyone about the illegal maritime tactics of North Korea.

Mnuchin said the sanctions shine a spotlight on the practices employed by the North Korean government to falsify identifying information on ships and conceal illicit cargo. These tactics of circumventing sanctions are prohibited by the UN Security Council resolutions and we are totally committed to shutting down those who engage in trade with them, he asserted.

"If the sanctions don't work, we'll have to go phase two. And phase two may be a very rough thing. Maybe very, very unfortunate for the world," Trump told the reporters.

The Treasury Secretary warned that countries that have business relations with North Korea will not be able to do business with the United States anymore.