Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in Japan, Vice President Mike pence announced that the Trump Administration is about to unveil the “toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions against North Korea ever.”
Details of what these economic sanctions could conceivably include were not disclosed, but they obviously can’t include hockey sticks, because those were already banned long ago in previous sanctions.
That’s been a recurring issue with new US sanctions on North Korea. The US doesn’t trade with North Korea at all, and has banned pretty much everything North Korea can get except for a bare minimums of life.
This has mostly meant that new “North Korea sanctions,” in practice, end up being sanctions against small companies in China and elsewhere that the US thinks aren’t sufficiently hostile toward North Korea, or travel bans for random North Korean political figures who weren’t going anywhere anyhow.
This is a particularly bad time for the US to be unveiling new sanctions, on the eve of the Winter Olympics, as diplomatic ties are improving elsewhere, and US hostility toward diplomacy is getting a bit grating on many countries.
Pence insisted the US will be imposing new sanctions until North Korea totally disarms, abandoning all nuclear weapons as well as scrapping its ballistic missile program.