As the 2018 Winter Olympic Games come to a close, President Donald Trump is once again raising the stakes for the entire world with his escalating rhetoric towards North Korea.
During his speech at CPAC on Friday, Trump announced that his administration is slapping new sanctions on North Korea.
“We imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before,” Trump bragged. “Hopefully, something positive can happen.”
According to The New York Times:
The sanctions, which target 28 ships registered in China and seven other countries, are intended to close a stubborn loophole in the effort to cut off North Korea’s imports of oil and exports of coal. Illicit ship-to-ship transfers of refined fuel and coal have allowed North Korea to mitigate the pain from those earlier measures, which were imposed in response to the repeated nuclear and ballistic missile tests it has conducted.
In doing so, the sanctions represent a step that inches the United States closer to imposing an economic blockade that could inflame tensions with North Korea, South Korea, Russia, and China.
Before the Games, South Korea and North Korea opened up a dialogue and agreed to participate in the Olympics together, a move that suggests that tensions between the two nations on the Korean peninsula could calm down.
Of course, that would be a major setback for Trump and his attempts to start a conflict with Kim Jong-Un.
President Trump announced the sanctions during a joint press conference with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. What he said afterward, however, should send a chill down the spine of every person on Earth.
“If the sanctions don’t work, we’ll have to go Phase 2,” Trump declared. “Phase 2 may be a very rough thing — may be very, very unfortunate for the world. But hopefully the sanctions will work. We have tremendous support all around the world for what we are doing. If we can make a deal, it will be a great thing. And if we can’t, something will have to happen.”
The look on Turnbull’s face as Trump issued his threat appeared to be one of unease.
Here’s the video via YouTube.
One has to wonder if Trump is going to give these sanctions a chance to work or if he is just moving America closer to a costly and deadly war. The Pentagon has reportedly been resisting giving Trump more military options on North Korea and every time Trump says something threatening toward North Korea the situation gets worse.
Only time will tell if the sanctions against North Korea have the desired effect, but Trump is childishly impatient, which means “Phase 2” could happen a lot sooner than we think.
Featured Image: YouTube screenshot