Trump vows more sanctions over North Korea's nuclear buildup


NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order today aiming to tighten an economic noose around North Korea, days after he threatened to "totally destroy" the country if forced to defend the United States or its allies.

The new order enables the U.S. to sanction individual companies and institutions that finance trade with North Korea. It adds to U.S.-led international pressure against Kim Jong Un's expanded missile and nuclear testing program that has stoked fears of nuclear war and dominated the president's debut at this week's U.N. General Assembly.

The announcement came as Trump met in New York with leaders from close U.S. allies South Korea and Japan, the nations most imperiled by North Korea's threats.

Trump said the order would also disrupt other trade avenues for North Korea in an effort to halt its nuclear weapons program. The president said "tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now."

He also saluted China's central bank for what he said was a move to stop its banks from trading with North Korea. That development was reported by Reuters today. China is North Korea's main trading partner and conduit for international transactions. Washington has been pushing China to scale back economic and financial ties to further isolate Pyongyang.

Trump, in his Tuesday address to the U.N., said it was "far past time" for the world to confront Kim, declaring the North Korean leader's pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life."

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