United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday thanked the Chinese government for letting his administration move forward with sanctions against Chinese banks accused of helping the North Korean regime avoid United Nations sanctions.
“I applaud China for breaking off all banking relationships with North Korea, something that people would have thought unthinkable even two months ago,” Trump said. “I want to thank President Xi.”
For years, China has remained North Korea’s largest trading partner and virtually its only military ally. Beijing’s banks and financial institutions elsewhere have served as a lifeline for the nuclear armed “Hermit Kingdom”– often characterized by a burgeoning military and an impoverished populace.
The Treasury Department recently announced new sanctions on eight North Korean banks, 26 people in China, and three other countries the Trump administration says have been funneling money to the dictatorship.
Speaking before the Rose Garden, Trump called upon the nations of the world to band together against the nuclear threat of North Korea.
“North Korean nuclear weapons and missile development threaten the entire world with unthinkable loss of life,” Trump said. “All nations must act now to ensure the regime’s complete denuclearization.” That has been the diplomatic Holy Grail which none of the former real-estate mogul’s predecessors have ever found.
But, Trump says change is coming.
Beyond tougher sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UN within the last two months, the U.S. is also pressuring nations to isolate themselves from North Korea even if its severing the slightest of trade, banking and diplomatic ties.
“I appreciate the United Nations Security Council voting twice, unanimously — 15 to nothing, twice — to adopt hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea,” Trump said Tuesday. “I have recently issued tough new sanctions against those who do business with this outlaw regime. And I applaud China’s latest action to restrict its trade with North Korea.”