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21 Sep, 2017 16:35

New US executive order to target foreign banks doing business with North Korea – Trump

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that gives the US broad new powers to sanction individuals, companies and financial institutions that facilitate trade with North Korea.

"I am announcing a new executive order to sign that significantly expands authorities to target individuals, companies, financial institutions that finance and facilitate trade with North Korea,” Trump said.

"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 told reporters.

The announcement by Trump was made ahead of a luncheon meeting with the leaders of Japan and South Korea on the UN sidelines.

Trump also said that China's Central Bank had ordered other Chinese banks to stop doing business with North Korea.

He said North Korea's textiles, fishing, information technology and manufacturing industries were among possible targets.

Trump said the measure would also disrupt other trade avenues for North Korea, the idea being to halt its nuclear weapons program. The president said "tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now."

During the announcement on Thursday, Trump was asked by reporters if dialogue was still possible with Pyongyang, and he replied "Why not?"

The UN Security Council has already passed substantial economic sanctions against North Korea, including targeting shipments of oil and other fuel used in missile testing, after Pyongyang reportedly tested a hydrogen bomb.

Under the UN resolution passed on September 11, all oil imports are banned and international assets of the government and its leaders have been frozen. The resolution also banned North Korea from importing natural gas liquids and condensates. It also bans all textile exports and prohibits any country from authorizing new work permits for North Korean workers – two key sources of hard currency for the country.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said those measures have "strangled their economic situation" but that it would "take a little bit of time" for the impact to be felt.

READ MORE: N. Korea says the more sanctions imposed, the faster it will move towards completing nukes

Haley said the Trump administration believes the new sanctions combined with previous measures would ban over 90 percent of North Korea’s exports reported in 2016.

Resolution 2371, passed in August 2017, banned all exports of coal, iron, lead, and seafood. It also imposed new restrictions on North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank and prohibited any increase in the number of North Koreans working in foreign countries.