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Sanctions Hitting North Korea Hard As Trump Tours Asia

Sanctions that are crippling the North Korean economy could intensify if President Donald Trump succeeds in one of his overarching goals for his current trip through several Asian countries.

The President’s top priority during his current Asia tour is to strengthen international resolve to denuclearize North Korea, a senior White House official told reporters on Nov. 5.

President Trump will urge the Chinese regime to go beyond fulfilling its U.N. Security Council resolution obligations with North Korea when he arrives there on Wednesday, Oct. 8. Reports that China is already ejecting North Korean workers ahead of a 120-day U.N. deadline indicate this could already be happening.

China’s cooperation with the sanctions has been seen as critical to ensuring they have an impact.

North Korea—which is considered very resilient to international trade sanctions—has complained bitterly about its reduced trade and capital flows.

KCNA, one of the regime’s official news agencies, reported on the regime’s efforts to appeal to the United Nations about the sanction on Nov. 5.

The regime mouthpiece described the “brutal sanctions” as “genocide.”

Without naming a specific country, the regime said the sanctions were condemned by the international community because they threatened the “the enjoyment by the people of DPRK of their human rights in all sectors.”

The regime, a recipient of foreign aid throughout its existence, complained the sanctions had thwarted international humanitarian organizations active in the country.

According to North Korean defectors, however, aid to North Korea has given the regime more resources to pursue its Songun or “military first” policy, which sees it prioritize military capability over any other international or domestic concern—including feeding its citizens.

Some defectors from North Korea have advocated that the only foreign aid that should be sent to North Korea is animal-grade feedstock.