The United States has imposed its “heaviest ever” sanctions against North Korea, President Donald Trump said on Friday at CPAC.

The measure aims to disrupt North Korean shipping companies and vessels. The Treasury Department sanctioned one person, 27 companies, and 28 ships,

“This will significantly hinder the Kim regime’s capacity to conduct evasive maritime activities that facilitate illicit coal and fuel transports, and erode its abilities to ship goods through international waters,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “The ships are located, registered or flagged in North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and Comoros.”

According to Reuters, the United States have been talking with regional partners such as Japan, South Korea, Australia, and Singapore to coordinate a stepped-up crackdown that would go further than ever before in an attempt to suppress North Korea’s use of seagoing trade.

If these steps don’t work, President Donald Trump warned of a “phase two” that could be “very, very unfortunate for the world.”

China, however, didn’t approve of these sanctions.

“China resolutely opposes the US side enacting unilateral sanctions and ‘long-armed jurisdiction’ in accordance with its domestic law against Chinese entities or individuals,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

The crackdown could lead to the seizure of ships suspected of carrying banned weapons and other illegal cargo.

 

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