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Trump's latest sanctions push North Korea further into a corner

President Donald trump issued new sanctions on North Korea on Thursday. Trump signed an executive order that will severely limit North Korea's ability to participate in the international economy.(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump continues to exhaust all non-military options to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons development, and on Thursday, he signed an executive order that will severely limit North Korea's ability to participate in the international economy.

"Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters," a White House release read.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called Trump out in a statement after his United Nations speech, saying, among other things, that "A frightened dog barks louder."

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire," he concluded in the statement.

What does the executive order do?

  • Vessels and aircrafts that have visited North Korea, or engaged in a ship-to-ship transfer with a ship that has visited North Korea in the last six months, can't visit the U.S. for 180 days.
  • The Treasury Secretary can impose sanctions on people involved in various industries, port operations, or imports and exports with North Korea.
  • The U.S. can impose sanctions on any foreign bank that processes transactions involving North Korean trade, including giving the Treasury Secretary the authority to block funds from, to or passing through North Korean accounts.

Will it work?

So far, North Korea has not responded positively to any measures against it, as the rogue nation continues to conduct missile tests and issue threats against U.S. allies.

The United States is seeking the total denuclearization of North Korea, and if previous actions are any indication, that's not an option Kim Jong Un is willing to consider.

Ideally, these sanctions will put enough pressure on North Korea that it is forced to sacrifice its nuclear ambitions in order to survive, but hopefully, it doesn't cause North Korea to lash out in desperation in a way that costs lives and forces the U.S. into military action.

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