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Trump announces new North Korea sanctions

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the US Treasury Department is imposing new sanctions against ...

Posted: Feb 24, 2018 2:57 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2018 2:57 PM

President Donald Trump announced Friday that the US Treasury Department is imposing new sanctions against North Korea specifically targeting the country's shipping and trading companies and vessels in an effort to further isolate the rogue regime.

Senior administration officials told reporters on Friday that Trump would discuss new sanctions on North Korea during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and touted the sanctions as the headline of the of the speech.

But it took the President nearly 80 minutes to mention the sanctions -- which he did only briefly -- at the end of his free-wheeling speech.

"North Korea, we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed by our country before. And frankly, hopefully something positive can happen. We will see, but hopefully something positive can happen," Trump said. "That just was announced and I wanted to let you know."

In its latest step to heighten its economic warfare against North Korea, the US government imposed sanctions against 27 entities and 28 vessels either registered or flagged in several countries, including North Korea, China and Singapore.

In a statement on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US is "aggressively targeting all illicit avenues used by North Korea to evade sanctions, including taking decisive action to block vessels, shipping companies, and entities across the globe that work on North Korea's behalf."

Sixteen North Korean shipping companies were sanctioned including Chonmyong Shipping Company Limited, Hapjanggang Shipping and Korea Achim Shipping Co.

Nine international shipping companies and nine vessels were also added to the US sanctions list: Asia Bridge 1, Hao Fan 2 and Xin Guang Hai. Along with international companies such as Shandong, China-based Weihai World-Shipping Freight and Shanghai, China-based Shangahi Dongfeng Shipping Co. Ltd.

The US government also labeled a Taiwanese citizen, Tsang Yung Yuan, who has coordinated North Korea coal exports with a Russia-based North Korean broker. Tsang has a record of sanctions evasion activities, according to Treasury.

Treasury, along with the State Department and US Coast Guard, also warned the public of significant sanctions they could face if they help to enable any shipments to goods to and from North Korea in an advisory.

The agencies also alerted those industries of North Korea's deceptive shipping practices.

"The President has made it clear to companies worldwide that if they choose to help fund North Korea's nuclear ambitions, they will not do business with the United States," Mnuchin said.

North Korea has been known to falsify and conceal information displayed on North Korean vessels and conduct ship-to-ship transfers, currently prohibited by the United Nations.

While these sanctions solely focus on "elicit maritime activity," administration officials made it clear that they are part of the maximum pressure campaign aimed at denuclearization.

The point of these sanctions, an official said, is not just to punish the rouge nation, but to raise "the cost of doing business with North Korea" for other countries.

"The President is clearly frustrated, and rightly so, over efforts that have failed in the past and also over the uptick in testing and the advancements we have seen in the North Korean program in the recent period of time and over the last couple of decades," an official said.

The announcement comes while the President's daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump is in South Korea for the closing days of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

According to Mnuchin, she briefed South Korean President Moon Jae-in about the new North Korea sanctions.

"Ivanka Trump has been briefed on this," Mnuchin said. "She has been part of the team. She had dinner with President Moon and had a private discussion in advance about this occurring and this has been an interagency process."

Asked if she had the appropriate security clearance, Mnuchin said, "She has the appropriate access to brief the president."

During a pre-dinner briefing with Moon, Ivanka said her visit was to "reaffirm our commitment to our maximum pressure campaign to ensure that the Korean Peninsula is denuclearized." She added that discussions with South Korea would touch on "joint values and strategic cooperation as partners and allies."

During the dinner, President Moon said that the denuclearization dialogue and the inter-Korean dialogue on the Korean Peninsula cannot go separately, and this process should progress hand-in-hand, according to Yoon Young-chan, a spokesperson for the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

Moon also said it is important for South Korea and the US to cooperate closely, the spokesperson said.

Moon said North Korea's participation in the Olympics was an "opportunity" for inter-Korean dialogue, which had "led to lowering of tensions on the peninsula and an improvement in inter-Korean relations."

He also thanked "President Trump's strong support for inter-Korean dialogue."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 338079

Reported Deaths: 7523
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds23409440
DeSoto23069280
Harrison20064328
Rankin15119290
Jackson14743251
Madison10806227
Lee10568179
Jones8864169
Forrest8408159
Lauderdale7684243
Lowndes6917151
Lamar683789
Lafayette6502124
Washington5551139
Pearl River5060150
Bolivar4923134
Oktibbeha484798
Panola4739112
Warren4690127
Marshall4670106
Pontotoc442873
Monroe4293137
Union429179
Neshoba4232181
Hancock417788
Lincoln4148116
Pike3605113
Leflore3587125
Tate351488
Alcorn346474
Sunflower344994
Adams338488
Scott336676
Yazoo335673
Simpson319290
Copiah319068
Itawamba312480
Coahoma311585
Tippah300568
Prentiss295063
Covington287183
Marion281780
Leake281575
Wayne274643
Grenada267588
George266251
Newton258964
Tishomingo238070
Winston236284
Jasper227548
Attala223373
Stone219437
Chickasaw217560
Holmes197674
Clay194654
Clarke184480
Tallahatchie182742
Calhoun179432
Smith177535
Yalobusha170240
Walthall144448
Lawrence140026
Greene137634
Amite135643
Noxubee134235
Perry132438
Montgomery131544
Carroll125431
Webster119132
Jefferson Davis114234
Tunica113227
Benton105925
Claiborne104831
Kemper101429
Humphreys99833
Franklin86723
Quitman84319
Choctaw81819
Wilkinson76532
Jefferson70428
Sharkey51618
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 574737

Reported Deaths: 11492
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson839571589
Mobile46611857
Madison36938532
Tuscaloosa26841465
Shelby26769255
Montgomery25853624
Baldwin24213326
Lee16897181
Calhoun15210332
Morgan14990289
Etowah14721369
Marshall12855235
Houston11661292
Elmore10727217
St. Clair10587250
Limestone10535158
Cullman10323204
Lauderdale10044253
DeKalb9335191
Talladega8797187
Walker7659286
Autauga7456114
Jackson7295117
Blount7233139
Colbert6614142
Coffee6117131
Dale5393117
Russell467742
Chilton4666117
Covington4623125
Franklin447281
Tallapoosa4420157
Escambia425282
Chambers3880125
Dallas3707163
Clarke366462
Marion3413106
Pike326979
Lawrence3211101
Winston293972
Bibb282965
Geneva274283
Marengo259067
Barbour245161
Pickens239662
Butler237672
Hale232378
Fayette225064
Henry206645
Randolph196144
Monroe195041
Cherokee194548
Washington179339
Macon168352
Crenshaw165058
Clay163659
Cleburne159945
Lamar149738
Lowndes144854
Wilcox129831
Bullock126042
Conecuh119530
Coosa116729
Perry109928
Sumter108732
Greene98336
Choctaw63925
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Thursday will be another very hot and very humid day across Mississippi and Alabama. Many areas will be well above 100 degrees with the heat index, some even as high as 120 degrees in the Delta of Mississippi.
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