The White House is reportedly considering broad sanctions against North Korea, focusing on cutting it from the global financial system as a response to its nuclear threats and missile tests.
The sanctions would be part of a multi-faceted approach to ramp up economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang to go along with the deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea, a senior U.S. official told Reuters Monday. The penalties would target Chinese banks and firms that do business with North Korea.
The less-risky option of sanctions, in lieu of a pre-emptive military strike, is expected to go to President Trump’s desk right before his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, Reuters reported. Pyongyang is expected to be the topic of conversation during the summit.
Trump met with his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, on Saturday to discuss North Korea. Trump said after the meeting that the dictator Kim Jong Un was “acting very, very badly” following the country's rocket-engine test, which officials believe it is part of building a missile capable of reaching the U.S.
North Korea has relied on illicit trade done through small Chinese banks. The new sanctions would have to threaten to prohibit the banks from the international financial system.
The officials also said the U.S. could look at trying to seize addition assets from Kim and his family outside North Korea.