Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday that the United States is imposing the toughest sanctions ever put in place against the Communist regime in North Korea for its nuclear program.
“This action targets the deceptive shipping practices that enable the Kim regime to fund its dangerous weapons programs,” Mnuchin said. “Our actions target shipping and trade companies, vessels, and individuals across the world who we know are working on North Korea’s behalf.”
Specifically, Mnuchin said, the sanctions target 27 entities, 28 vessels, and 1 individual for evading existing sanctions.
“Today’s actions will significantly hinder North Korea’s ability to conduct evasive maritime activities that facilitate illicit coal and fuel transports, limit the regime’s ability to ship goods through international waters,” Mnuchin said. “Our actions are part of the ongoing maximum economic pressure campaign to cut off sources of revenue that this regime derives from the U.N. and U.S. prohibited trades to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.”
Furthermore, Mnuchin said the U.S. is also issuing a global shipping advisory in partnership with the State Department and U.S. Coast Guard to inform international parties of the illicit activities and warn of the risk of engaging with the North Koreans.
“We are releasing new imagery of the deceptive shipping practices used by those who aid and profit from illicit trade with North Korea,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin said the images from December of last year show transfer of fuel and other products from ships to ships bound for North Korea.
“They shine a spotlight on the practices employed by the government of North Korea to falsify identifying information on ships and conceal illicit cargo,” Mnuchin stated, noting this behavior also violates the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
He said the U.S. is “putting companies and countries on notice” about dealings with North Korea and that the Trump administration “views compliance with U.S. and U.N. sanctions as a national security imperative.”
“The United States will leverage our economic strength to enforce President Trump’s directive that any company that chooses to help North Korea fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs will not be allowed to do business with anyone in the United States,” Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin slammed North Korea for financing nuclear weapons while its people suffer and starve.
On Friday, President Trump mentioned the sanctions when he spoke at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on the outskirts of Washington, DC.
“I do want to say — because people have asked: North Korea — we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before,” Trump said.
Meanwhile, at the White House, Mnuchin said the U.S. is determined to reach its ultimate goal for North Korea.
“The United States will not sit idly by while he threatens American allies and territories,” Mnuchin said. “This administration is committed to full, irreversible, and permanent denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”