The Trump administration is set to announce a sweeping new set of sanctions against North Korea in the latest effort to prod the regime to abandon its nuclear weapons development program. President Trump is set to unveil the new sanctions during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference this morning, and the U.S. Treasury Department is said to reveal further details about the package later in the day.
Top administration officials have been hinting at tougher penalties against the regime all week. On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence also mentioned North Korea in his CPAC address. He called Kim Jo Yong, the younger sister of North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, “a central pillar of the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.”
“We stand up to murderous dictatorships. And we will keep standing strong until North Korea stops threatening our country, our allies or until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missiles once and for all,” Pence said.
Pence and Kim were seated near each other during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang two weeks ago, but notably didn’t speak to, or otherwise acknowledge each other.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley also addressed the North Korean issue in a speech this week. In an address at the University of Chicago, Haley touted U.S. sanctions as being an effective tool to decrease the revenue North Korea can devote to their nuclear program.
“It is this fact, more than anything else, that prompted the Kim regime to reach out to South Korea and do public relations damage control at the Olympics,” she said. “Their sources of revenue are drying up. Sending cheerleaders to Pyeongchang was a sign of desperation, not national pride.”