Status Update: North Korea

Donald Trump waiting to address the UN General Assembly on issues including North Korea. (UN Photo by Kim Haughton.)

In the midst of the ever-growing tensions between North Korea and the United States, on Thursday, September 21, President Trump signed a new executive order restricting the nation’s financial institutions.

Later Trump stated, “Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to mankind.”

So far this has rung true. On Thursday, September 27, China issued an order to have all North Korean businesses shut down in their country.

China and North Korea have had very strong ties in the past. In hindsight of the ever-growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, China put into action the new sanctions that the United Nations issued.

The United States is taking a strong and defiant stance against this world threat, and the Trump administration already has put another set of restrictions on North Korea.

On September 26, the Treasury Department added sanctions on banks and any individuals with connections to the ever continually secluded country. The action is against eight banks originating in North Korea and 26 individuals that have a connection to financial networks for them.

By continuously weakening North Korea through their economy, the United States hopes to prevent further expansion of nuclear weapons for Pyongyang. Taking such a strong stance against this blatant threat seems to be the only way from now on.

However, every action has a consequence. On September 23, at the general debate of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho stated, “insulting the dignity of North Korea, President Donald Trump made a rocket attack on the United States mainland more inevitable.”

Donald Trump addressed the North Korean crisis on September 19, in his speech to the United Nations.

He admonished Kim Jong Un by making claims that the United States would “totally destroy North Korea” if compelled to sustain itself or its allies and that “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself”.

For some including former United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, these warnings and the increasing number of unilateral sanctions have increased the likelihood of retaliation by North Korea.

Kissinger contested that the path to diplomacy can only begin if there is an understanding about goals and strategy for negotiations with North Korea between Beijing and Washington.

Now that China has limited trade with the regime, the goal for some in the United States is to begin entering into conversations with Pyongyang.

For this to be triumphant many world powers such as the United States, China, Japan, and Russia must come together on a similar plan and discuss the necessary security arrangements as we move forward.

To strengthen the plan everyone involved must follow through on the sanctions issued by the United Nations Security Council. By doing this the United States will have greater leverage over North Korea thus encouraging negotiations.

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