China orders banks to cut off business with North Korea

The US president has outlined further US sanctions against the secretive state

China orders banks to cut off business with North Korea

US President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the United Nations General Assembly, 21-09-2017. Image: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

US President Donald Trump has outlined further US sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear programme.

Announcing the measures, he said China's central bank has already ordered financial institutions there to stop doing business with North Korea.

The new order will allow the US treasury to target people and companies that finance and facilitate trade with Pyongyang.

He said foreign banks will now face a 'clear choice:'

“Do business with the United States or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea,” he said.

“This new order provides us with powerful new tools but I want to be clear – the order targets only one country and that country is North Korea.”

The move comes less than two weeks after the UN unanimously approved a range of new sanctions against the country.

The US president said his new executive order would cut off revenue funding North Korea’s “efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind."

"For much to long North Korea has been allowed to abuse the international financial system to facilitate funding for its nuclear weapon and missile programmes," he said.

"Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now."

The orders are expected to impact upon the country’s IT, manufacturing, textiles and fishing industries.

Bilateral meetings

President Trump is meeting with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in this evening amid tensions over his threat to “totally destroy” North Korea, during a speech to the UN General Assembly earlier this week.

The South Korean government has publicly described the speech as portraying a “firm and specific stance on the key issues regarding keeping peace and safety.”

However, speaking to the Reuters news agency, two senior South Korean diplomats expressed concern that Trump’s rhetoric could provoke North Korea to launch an attack.

Mr Moon has warned that his country does not want to see North Korea collapse – or an enforced reunification of the peninsula.

Earlier today South Korea approved an $8m (€6.7m) humanitarian aid package for North Korea, despite calls from both Japan and the US for economic and diplomatic pressure to be kept up on Pyongyang.

South Korea’s unification ministry said the package did not include cash payments - adding that there was "realistically no possibility" that it could be used by the North Korean military.