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International relations

US imposes largest sanctions ever on North Korea

Trump threatens 'phase two' if pressure campaign fails

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the media in Washington before leaving for the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 23.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. announced Friday its largest sanctions to date against those suspected of supporting North Korea's nuclear and missile programs as part of its maximum-pressure campaign against the regime.

The measures target 28 vessels and 27 trading and maritime transport companies linked to North Korea, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Panama, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, and Comoros, along with one Taiwanese individual, according to a list released by the U.S. Treasury Department. The aim is to crack down on ship-to-ship oil transfers used by North Korea to evade United Nations sanctions, cutting off resources for nuclear development.

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