President Donald Trump on Thursday said that he plans to impose yet more sanctions on North Korea as the nation continues to develop its nuclear program.
“We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea,” Trump told reporters in response to a question shouted to him before a scheduled meeting with Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.
At a working lunch later in the day with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump announced that he signed an executive order to “significantly” expand the United States’ authority to target entities “that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea.”
“Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea’s efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind,” he said.
Trump cited a report that China’s central bank instructed banks to fully implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, to stop serving new customers from the nation and to wind down existing loans.
“This is a complete denuclearization of North Korea that we seek,” he said. “We cannot have this as a world body any longer.”
In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime “depraved” and said its “reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.”
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said, and deployed his newest nickname for Kim: “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on Wednesday dismissed Trump’s threat as “the sound of a dog barking” and said that if Trump intended to intimidate the nation with his rhetoric, it “would be a dog’s dream” too.
Earlier in September, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea.
This post has been updated.