Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders held a press conference along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday afternoon. Tillerson reiterated the importance of President Trump’s trip throughout Asia and the diplomatic efforts to suppress nuclear proliferation in North Korea.
When discussing the trip’s goals, Tillerson said, “We continue to turn the pressure up on North Korea by getting the countries to join and take actions on their own.”
North Korea has been heavily sanctioned for quite some time by United Nations resolutions designed to incentivize the country to stop its nuclear development program among other strategic goals.
Today, the Treasury Department slapped new sanctions down upon North Korea in order to continue the same goal. The sanctions focus on three Chinese companies that have exported millions of dollars worth of goods to the authoritarian regime. According to Tillerson, past sanctions have caused revenues to go down due to the low supply of fuel.
“It is working. The general belief is it is having a significant effect on North Korea,” Tillerson said, touting the alleged progress of his foreign policy.
The administration has also officially returned North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism. A 2013 UN Commission of Inquiry found that the country continues to practice enslavement, torture, forced abortions, and much more – making the small communist nation one of the worst human rights abusers in the history of the world.
When asked about China’s support on the issue of North Korea, Tillerson stated that “they are fully committed to implementing all the UN sanctions.” China serves as a key ally in stopping North Korea’s nuclear proliferation due to their number of oil refineries.
Sanders also commented on the matter, stating that “the priority of the administration is to protect Americans and to partner with our allies and our friends around the globe to do that.”