Donald Trump has announced the “largest ever” sanctions against North Korea as the Winter Olympics truce appeared to come to an abrupt halt.
The US president used a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] to discuss the move, that will target vessels avoiding economic sanctions.
Mr Trump said: “Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest-ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime.
“The Treasury Department will soon be taking new action to further cut off sources of revenue and fuel that the regime uses to fund its nuclear program and sustain its military by targeting 56 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses that are assisting North Korea in evading sanctions.”
It comes after weeks where both countries have set aside heated rhetoric and put off military drills for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Mike Pence, the US vice president who attended the opening ceremony, was reportedly due to meet the North Koreans for secret talks but they pulled out at the last moment.
Ivanka Trump, Mr Trump’s daughter, is visiting South Korea for the Winter Olympics closing ceremony.
It comes amid deep concern in America about North Korea’s nuclear programme amid fears that the regime could soon develop a weapon that could hit mainland US cities.
Mr Trump also repeated calls for teachers to be armed after the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead and scores more injured.
Arguing for the use of concealed carry permits for teachers, Mr Trump said: “A teacher would have shot the hell out of him.”
Mr Trump reaffirmed his commitment to safeguarding the second amendment to loud cheers from the crowd at Cpac.
“Nobody has more respect for the second amendment or for the NRA. They’re great people, they’re pats. But background checks have to improve”.
The president added: “When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones it just puts our students in more danger – well-trained gun-adept teachers and coaches should be able to carry concealed firearms.
“We should do what works. This includes commonsense measures that will protect the rights of law-abiding Americans while helping to keep guns out of the hands of those who pose a danger to themselves and to others.”
Mr Trump told CPAC he wanted to hear suggestions from the public about dealing with the issue.
“We will act, will do something,” he said.
He focused on one of the teenage victims in particular, Meadow Pollack, whose father Andrew urged Mr Trump to make schools more secure but not change gun laws earlier this week.
The announcement came as Ms Trump touched down in South Korea, leading America’s delegation for the closing ceremony and calling the visit a “great honour”.
She said: “We are very, very excited to attend the 2018 winter Olympic games to cheer for Team USA and to reaffirm our strong and enduring commitment with the people of the Republic of Korea. Thank you for the kind welcome. We are excited to be here and looking forward to several wonderful days.”
It comes amid growing signs that the United Nations’ economic sanctions pushed through by the Trump administration are having an impact.
Paper for North Korea’s main publication, the Rodong Sinmun – a mouthpiece for the regime – is running short. Food and fuel are increasingly scarce, while there are reports the country’s hard currency reserves could dry up by October.
During his speech, Mr Trump set his eyes on the 2020 presidential election, saying “we should do that”.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/23/trump-announce-largest-ever-north-korea-sanctions/