Trump Tightens Purse Strings, New Executive Order Affects North Korean Trade
North Korea faces financial isolation as President Trump signed an executive order Thursday that presents a steep ultimatum for its trade partners. The president met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-In as he made his decision to sign the executive order publicly at the U.N. General Assembly. The executive order was designed to go after the financial institutions that support North Korean trade partners. The Treasury Department will now have the power to refuse account access to foreign banks that are helping to fund trade in North Korea.
President Trump stated, “Foreign banks will face a clear choice. Do business with the United States, or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea.”
“It is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal rogue regime.”
The executive order also prohibits any ships or aircraft that travel to North Korea from visiting the United States for a period of 180 days. This is designed to discourage trade of any kind with North Korea, and to publicly penalize those who support the dangerous regime in any way. Kim Jong Un, the dictator of North Korea, has steadily escalated tensions with the United States by refusing to halt the nation’s growing nuclear program. He has overseen the production and testing of ballistic missiles as well as the development of nuclear capabilities. Kim seems oblivious to the risks that his reckless military actions and threats bring to his entire country.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In expressed relief at President Trump’s choice of diplomacy instead of dire military action. South Korea is directly in the path of destruction, should any significant military action take place. The country has taken steps to defend itself but could still suffer serious indirect effects from any violent conflict.
According to Kevin Liptak, CNN White House producer, “Trump insists that military options are on the table for dealing with North Korea, but his aides have said diplomacy is the preferred outlet for containing the nuclear crisis.”
This executive order is an attempt to cut the North Korean regime off at the knees by disabling its ability to receive any kind of aid from the rest of the world. The order also opens the door for sanctions against any industry that provides goods or services that could bolster or help the country in any way. These sanctions could encompass everything from internet technology providers to fishermen. Kim reacted to the events of the past week with his usual threats of escalating nuclear tests and misplaced indignation.
President Trump has called for a “complete de-nuclearization” of North Korea immediately. Even Chinese leader Xi Jinping, a long-time supporter of North Korea, has tentatively withdrawn his country’s financial and political support. Jinping was not present at the U.N. General Assembly, but made his position clear after speaking with President Trump.
The New York Times described Thursday’s events as “…expanding efforts to constrict North Korea’s trade with the world.”
President Trump went on to reiterate his strong opposition to the actions of North Korea and its leader, saying, “We cannot have this as a world body any longer.”
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]