U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday extended existing U.S. sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for another year, citing the risk of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons and the threat of its behavior to U.S. national security.
The executive order, which was further expanded under Trump and previous administrations, called for sanctions on the DPRK for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” according to a statement released by the White House.
“Measures taken to deal with that national emergency, must continue in effect beyond June 26, 2020,” it said.
Yonhap reported that the South’s chief nuclear negotiator Lee Do-hoon had arrived in Washington and will meet U.S. officials Thursday amid flaring tensions with the North after Pyongyang blew up an inter-Korean liaison office and threatened military action.
Lee is expected to hold consultations with U.S. officials, including Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun who had led denuclearization negotiations with the DPRK, Yonhap said. He is also expected to meet White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.
Meanwhile, the DPRK’s official newspaper said that this week’s demolition of an inter-Korean liaison office was just the beginning, warning there could be additional retaliatory steps against the South that could go “far beyond imagination.”
“It is just the beginning,” the newspaper Rodong Sinmun said of Tuesday’s destruction of the liaison office. “The explosive sound of justice that will continue to come out could go far beyond the imagination of those who make a noise about what could unfold.”