20:40 GMT23 July 2021
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    The United States is imposing a new set of sanctions on North Korea targeting individuals and institutions that provide financial support and facilitate trade with Pyongyang, US President Donald Trump said at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

    "Today, I am announcing a new executive order that significantly expands our authorities to target individuals, companies, financial institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea," Trump stated before a working lunch with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    The sanctions target Pyongyang's information technology, manufacturing industries, as well as fishing and textiles.

    Trump said the executive order gives the US Treasury Department discretion to impose punitive measures against any foreign bank that knowingly conducts transactions with North Korea.

    In addition, the US president announced that the central bank of China has directed other financial institutions in the country to immediately stop any business dealings with North Korea.

    Trump emphasized that any tolerance for Kim Jon-un's destabilizing activities should now end and called on the international community to aim for complete denuclearization of North Korea.

    But he said "Why not?" responding to a question on whether dialogue with Pyongyang was still possible.

    Tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs have escalated in recent months as Pyongyang has test-launched a number of projectiles which flew over Japan and triggered global criticism. On Monday, the US president said Washington would "have no choice than to totally destroy North Korea" if immediate threats emerge.

    In early September Pyongyang tested a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded into an intercontinental ballistic missile which became Pyongyang's sixth nuclear test.

    Earlier, as a response to the potential use of nuclear weapons, the United States sent a strike group led by US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula in early April, where it held exercises with the South Korean navy.

    US media reported in mid-April that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea in light of its military activities. North Korean top officials said the country was ready for nuclear attacks in the event of possible US military aggression.


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