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U.S. keeps Pyongyang on blacklist

Oct 21,2019
U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to extend the blacklisting of North Korea over its notorious human trafficking record, banning non-humanitarian and non-trade-related assistance to the communist nation.

The largely symbolic measure was made Friday after working-level nuclear talks between the two sides fell apart in Stockholm on Sept. 5. Ending the first formal negotiations in more than seven months, Pyongyang and Washington reportedly agreed to meet again “within the next two weeks,” but no talks have been scheduled.

Amid growing doubts about the likelihood of Trump holding a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before the end of the year, he reapplied a Presidential Determination that prevents the United States from providing non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance to North Korea or allowing funding for participation in educational and cultural exchange programs by its officials or employees, according to the White House.

Several other nations, including Cuba, Russia and Syria, are subject to the same step to be effective through fiscal year 2020 under the memorandum, which was directed at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

It called for their governments to comply with minimum standards or make significant efforts in regard to the elimination of trafficking in persons.

Trump also instructed the U.S. executive director of each multilateral development bank and its representative at the International Monetary Fund to vote against any loan or other utilization of their funds by those countries.

Trump’s measure against Pyongyang is not new, and it’s also symbolic as its regime is already facing a wide web of sanctions led by the United States or the United Nations.

It was announced amid a drawn out deadlock in efforts to commence the denuclearization process in earnest in a follow-up to the historic Singapore summit between Trump and Kim in 2018.

As he rode a white horse up Mount Paektu last week, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, the North’s leader vowed to ride out sanctions, Pyongyang’s state media said.

Yonhap