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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Trump to add sanctions against North Korea

Iran Press TV

Thu Sep 21, 2017 05:10PM

US President Donald Trump says Washington will add more economic sanctions against North Korea, days after he threatened to "totally destroy" the country.

"We will be putting more sanctions on North Korea," Trump said on Thursday in response to a question at a meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in New York on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

Trump would make the announcement about economic penalties on Friday during a meeting New York with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, US officials said.

US allies have called for enforcing existing international sanctions as the best way to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program.

Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the United States, if threatened, would "totally destroy" his country of 26 million people.

After Trump's threatening speech, the South Korean president struck a different tone, saying the crisis "needs to be managed stably so that tensions will not become overly intensified or accidental military clashes will not destroy peace."

Tensions have risen in recent weeks over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests, despite intense pressure from world powers. There is no sign, however, that international sanctions are having any effect on the actions of Pyongyang.

The United States has separately imposed unilateral sanctions, some of which target firms from China which is the primary economic partner of North Korea.

Last month, when the standoff between North Korea and the US over Pyongyang's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs reached its peak, Trump threatened Kim with "fire and fury the world has never seen."

Trump's threats to "totally destroy" North Korea is counterproductive and justify Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs that it insists are for self-defense, according to analysts.

Experts say Trump's speech could have an opposite effect, intensifying the deteriorating situation in the Korean peninsula.

Any US attack would risk massive retaliation with a potentially catastrophic loss of life.

The US has 28,500 troops stationed in the South, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War which ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

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