Trump administration announces heaviest sanctions against North Korea

Trump administration has slapped toughest sanctions against the North Korean regime ever which will ensure that the Pyongyang cannot continue with its nuclear program without ignoring the sanctions. The latest round of measures is aimed at 56 vessels, shipping companies and other firms which are used by the rogue regime to carry out the trade which has been prohibited under previous sanctions.

The sanctions are seen as a reply to the advanced ongoing missile and nuclear program by the isolated nation. North Korea has become one of the most critical threats faced by US mainland. The latest sanctions will further intensify pressure on Kim Jong Un. North Korea has been concealing its illegal shipping practices which include banned ship-to-ship transfers, concealing and faking ship names and disabling of automatic identification systems on shipping vessels for covering their movements. The new line of sanctions will effectively disrupt the sophisticated ways used by Pyongyang to evade the previous sanctions. Nine ships which come under latest sanctions are used to carry coal which comprises an important North Korean export. The companies which are sanctioned are based in China, Singapore and Panama. This will lead to increased pressure although it may not make any substantial difference.

The Trump administration has also issued a global shipping advisory aimed at increasing awareness of North Korea’s illicit shipping activities and thereby warning companies of severe penalties if found to be involved in trade relations with the regime. The sanctions will clearly tell other nations which companies have to be avoided. The announcement of the sanctions has been timed with the Ivanka Trump along with the Presidential delegation is visiting South Korea for the closing ceremony of Winter Olympics.

The Trump administration along with its Asian allies is also planning for enhanced interception of ships which may violate the North Korean sanctions. The plan may thus involve deployment of US Coast Guard forces for searching of vessels in waters of Asia-Pacific. The US is already in talks with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia for coming together collectively to expand the crackdown. The US is also considering increasing the naval and air power of its Pacific Command for the success of the recent sanctions. Vessels will be targeted on high seas and also in the territorial waters of the cooperating nations.

On the other hand, the new sanctions will have to face its set of challenges and lead to a retaliation by North Korea and ultimately division of the international community on the sensitive issue. China and Russia are expected to oppose the US actions in case they find any violations of UN resolutions.


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