Trump: ‘Additional Major Sanctions Will Be Imposed on North Korea Today’

By Melanie Arter | November 29, 2017 | 5:24 PM EST

President Donald Trump (Screenshot of White House video)

( - President Donald Trump announced new sanctions against North Korea Wednesday after the country launched its latest missile test that Pyongyang said brought the United States within range of its nuclear warhead.

The president tweeted, “Just spoke to President XI JINPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea. Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!”

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert at a State Department briefing on Wednesday said, “The United States strongly condemns North Korea’s launch of a likely intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan, indiscriminately threatening its neighbors, the region, and global peace and security.

“The DPRK’s relentless and unlawful pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed. Together, with the international community, we must send a unified message to North Korea it must abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs,” she said.

Nauert said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson considers “diplomatic options” to be “viable and open” when it comes to North Korea.

“The United States remains open to finding a peaceful to denuclearization and ending the belligerent actions by North Korea. Our goal for the pressure campaign, in which the entire world has now joined us, is to persuade the regime it needs to reconsider the path that it’s currently on and think about engaging in a meaningful dialogue about a different future,” Nauert said.

Trump spoke to the South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese presidents about the matter, and Tillerson plans to attend the UN security council meeting on Dec. 15 to discuss the matter further.

During a press gaggle on board Air Force One en route to St. Louis, Mo., Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah called the North Korean threat “very grave,” adding that “it’s not just a threat to the United States or a threat to the region - or the Korean Peninsula region, but a threat to the entire world and the civilized world.”

Shah said the White House was “encouraged that more countries are taking more significant steps to help apply as much maximum pressure as we can on North Korea.”

When asked about the president’s mention of possible new sanctions against North Korea, Shah said, “Well, I'm not going to get ahead of any announcement that's coming. I will say, though, that the maximum pressure campaign that the United States has been a big part of has really yielded a lot of results.”

“We've seen the toughest sanctions ever imposed on North Korea that the Chinese and Russians have signed onto.  We've seen China restrict energy shipments to North Korea. We're seeing dozens of countries engage in different efforts in their bilateral ties with North Korea to cut off both energy, economic ties, and diplomatic ties,” Shah added.

“So we're seeing more and more steps take place. We'll see future actions by the United States and others, and we're looking forward to applying as much pressure as we can to get to our ultimate goal, which is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” Shah said.

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