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U.S. announces new unilateral sanctions on N. Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday new unilateral
sanctions taking aim at North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile
programs by sanctioning banks, other entities or individuals that
trade with the North.

"The (North Korean) regime can no longer count on others to
facilitate its trade and banking activities," Trump said as he
unveiled the sanctions at the start of a meeting with Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In on the
sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

"Many countries are working with us to increase economic and
diplomatic pressure on North Korea, but I continue to call on all
those responsible nations to enforce and implement U.N. sanctions and
impose their own measures like the ones I am announcing today," he
said.

According to the White House, the new executive order Trump
signed Thursday enables the Treasury Department to ban any individual
trading goods, services, or technology with North Korea from making
transactions with the U.S. financial system.

It also sanctions any foreign bank that knowingly conducts or
facilitates transactions tied to trade with North Korea.

"Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that, going
forward, they can choose to do business with the United States or
with North Korea, but not both," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
told reporters in New York after the announcement.

Trump said the Treasury Department will identify new potential
targets for sanctions, including North Korea's textiles and fishing
industries, and take new action to prevent sanctions evasion.

He stressed that the new sanctions do not target any country
other than North Korea, and praised a decision by the People's Bank
of China to order Chinese banks to stop doing business with North
Korea.

Abe and Moon both hailed the new sanctions, with the Japanese
leader welcoming them "from the standpoint of putting a new level of
pressure on North Korea unlike any before."

Citing the Chinese central bank's action as well as Trump's
order, Moon said he is "very confident such moves will greatly
contribute to the denuclearization of North Korea."

After the meeting, Abe told reporters he, Trump and Moon had
"completely agreed to carry out forceful appeals to the international
community...to place unprecedented, markedly high pressure on North
Korea and make it change its policies."

He said the heightened threat from North Korea has made the
coordination between Tokyo, Washington and Seoul stronger.

Yonhap news agency quoted South Korean Foreign Minister Kang
Kyung Wha as saying the three leaders "agreed on the need for the
international community to put maximum pressure and sanctions to the
level that North Korea cannot withstand and voluntarily come to the
dialogue table."

Earlier Thursday in his general debate address, Moon urged for
North Korea to engage in dialogue, marking a contrast with Abe, who
the day prior said the North has only ever used dialogue to "deceive"
and "buy time" to work on its weapons programs.

A day earlier, Trump warned in his debut U.N. address that the
United States "will have no choice but to totally destroy" North
Korea if "forced to defend itself or its allies."

Japan and South Korea are both bound by security treaties with
the United States, although in Japan's case its pacifist Constitution
prevents it from taking part in military action unless its own
survival is explicitly at stake.

The elections of Trump in November last year and Moon in May had
prompted speculation over a potential thaw in relations between their
respective countries and North Korea, in contrast to Abe's consistent
opposition to restarting direct talks with Pyongyang.

Trump held separate talks with Moon ahead of the trilateral
summit and with Abe afterward, but the two Asian leaders refrained
from holding their own bilateral meeting in New York. (Sept. 21)