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US puts more sanctions on North Korea backers

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at a White House press briefing after President Donald Trump declared North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

The Trump administration Tuesday slapped new sanctions on companies and transport systems that support North Korea as part of a campaign aimed at punishing the country for its nuclear program.

A day after President Donald Trump reinstated Pyongyang to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, the administration sanctioned one person, 13 companies and 20 vessels for their “long-standing commercial ties to North Korea” or as “transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations.”

Most of the vessels were cargo ships with North Korean flags. One of the companies, the South-South Cooperation Corporation, supplied workers to China, Russia, Cambodia and Poland. The United States has called on countries the world over to stop hiring North Korean workers, whose salaries mostly go to their government.

The sanctions are the latest in a long line that have yet to deter Kim Jong Un from pursuing nuclear weapons.

“As North Korea continues to threaten international peace and security, we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue while exposing its evasive tactics,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in announcing the new sanctions.

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On Monday, Trump put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, along with Iran, Syria and Sudan, and threatened to continue to tighten punishment of the isolated government.

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© 2017 Los Angeles Times

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