President Trump’s administration is considering imposing broad sanctions on North Korea in a bid to cut Pyongyang off from the global financial system. The news comes as concerns mount over Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, with a worrying report out Monday warning that the country has doubled the size of its uranium-enrichment facility. The sanctions would seek to hit Pyongyang hard by cutting off its access to Chinese banks and boosting defense with South Korea and Japan, a senior U.S. official told Reuters.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is reportedly drawing up recommendations on the matter, and they are expected to be submitted to Trump before he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. High-ranking U.S. officials have reportedly already warned China that the “secondary sanctions” will likely target Chinese banks and businesses that do business with North Korea. While Pyongyang is already under heavy sanctions over its nuclear ambitions, the new sanctions would also serve to make China do more to keep North Korea in check. China has repeatedly urged Trump’s administration to rely on dialogue and find compromise with Pyongyang, at one point even suggesting the U.S. should halt military drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang stopping its nuclear activities. But Trump has complained of Beijing not doing enough to deal with North Korea, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has warned that a military solution has not been ruled out. Read more.