Donald Trump has been the recipient of much criticism from the left (what else is new) for his hawkish talk about how best to handle North Korea.
The doves and pacifists on the left would much prefer we sit down at the table with the NoKo’s, find out what makes them angry and see if we can appease them through diplomacy. Then if that doesn’t work, just employ peaceful methods of persuasion such as sanctions.
Well, that’s exactly what Trump has been doing. On Thursday, he announced a huge doubling down on the strategy.
The Hill reports:
“We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea,” Trump said at a meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani at the United Nations.
The remark came in response to a shouted question from a reporter, and the president did not elaborate on whether he would be immediately proposing further sanctions to the U.N. or what the penalties might look like.
The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation.
“We have strangled their economic situation at this point,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters on Friday. “That’s going to take a little bit of time but it has already started to take effect.”
Yesterday’s draft executive order will allow the United States to target individuals, businesses, and financial institutions that help North Korea’s regime, Mr Trump said. The new penalties seek to use the United States’ dominant financial system to force the entities to choose whether to do business with the United States or the relatively small nation of North Korea.
But this wasn’t the only news yesterday.
Around the same time, Reuters reported that Chinese banks are being ordered to honor the UN sanctions — and stop serving as financial conduits for an increasingly isolated North Korea. This step was seen as very significant because neither Barrack Obama nor George W. Bush had been able to extract this action from the Chinese, and it likewise could have a devastating impact on the North Korean economy.
Meanwhile, the war of words between the nations continues. This morning, President Trump lashed out at Kim Jong Un, calling the Korean dictator a “madman” whose regime will be “tested like never before.” This came after the North Korean declared, “I will … tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”
And in related news, North Korean escapee Hee Yeon Lim related a chilling account of atrocities in North Korea.
Whether or not sanctions will have any affect such is unknown, but at least it cannot be said that Trump isn’t exhausting non-military options.