by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, Trump announced what he called “the largest-ever set of new sanctions on” North Korea.
They include 27 entities and 28 vessels belonging to North Korea, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and other countries.
In announcing new sanctions, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said they’re “aggressively targeting all illicit avenues used by North Korea to evade sanctions, including taking decisive action to block the vessels, shipping companies and entities across the globe that work on North Korea’s behalf.”
Trump warned if sanctions don’t work as intended, he’ll authorize “Phase 2,” saying it “may be a very rough thing, may be very, very unfortunate for the world” - without further elaboration.
Days earlier, Rex Tillerson said Washington will continue its “big stick” approach toward the DPRK, claiming pressure is beginning to “bite,” explaining US military intervention remains an option, adding:
“It is my job as chief diplomat to ensure that the North Koreans know we keep our channels open. I’m listening, I’m not sending a lot of messages back because there is nothing to say to them at this point.”
In January, House member Tulsi Gabbard accused Washington and other Western countries of imposing “unrealistic preconditions” on North Korea, adding:
“Peace with (the country) requires immediate and direct talks without preconditions.”
“Regime change war policy is the reason why North Korea sees nuclear weapons as their only deterrent from a US-led attack.”
“Kim Jong-un sees what the US has done to Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and the effort underway to decertify the nuclear deal with Iran.”
“Our leaders have set unrealistic preconditions to negotiate with North Korea for decades. If we set a precondition that Kim Jong-un must get rid of his nuclear weapons, there would be nothing to negotiate. We need to invite North Korea to the table and talk about peace.”
Gabbard is a rare cool head in Washington amid hundreds of bipartisan extremists, supporting endless imperial wars.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shaung responded to new US sanctions, calling them “mistaken actions…harming bilateral cooperation,” adding Beijing sent the Trump administration “stern representations.”
New US sanctions perhaps aim to goad Pyongyang to test another nuclear weapon or ballistic missile, a way to try undermining a thaw in North/South relations Washington opposes.
US administrations need enemies to justify their imperial agenda. None exist so they’re invented - North Korea one of many examples.
Uneasy armistice for decades could be abandoned ahead for unthinkable war on the peninsula, risking a nuclear holocaust.
VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman). Contact at [email protected]
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
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