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US Vice President Pence to announce “toughest” sanctions against North Korea

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US Vice President Pence to announce “toughest” sanctions against North Korea

Pence North korea
Pence North korea
Photo: Reuters

Today, Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in South Korea for the Olympic opening ceremony. His visit comes soon after a declaration of aggressive new US sanctions on North Korea.

The country already faces a long list of economic sanctions from the US, EU and UN which aim to significantly inhibit nuclear progress and choke the regime. Among these are trade bans on industrial equipment, resources, and luxury goods.

These sanctions have seen mixed results over the years, some having been evaded through underground markets. China, which makes up 90% of North Korea’s trade, has also been accused of weak enforcement. However, a recent ban on textile exports by the UN has the potential to cost the regime $800 million annually.

Although the specifics of these new US sanctions are unclear, by again putting North Korean abuses into the spotlight the US is likely hoping to undermine recent diplomatic progress made by South Korea. Expect Trump to make an announcement on the sanctions in the coming days to further shift the spotlight.

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Photo: Third South Summit

Delve deeper: Beyond Armageddon: US policy options on North Korea

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