Trump to impose new sanctions on North Korea

Trump to impose new sanctions on North Korea
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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE will announce the “largest-ever set of sanctions on the North Korean regime” on Friday when he speaks to a gathering of conservative activists.

The White House tipped its hand in newly released excerpts of the speech Trump will deliver later Friday morning.

“Today I am announcing that we are launching the largest-ever set of new sanctions on the North Korean regime,” the president will tell attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

“The Treasury Department will soon be taking new action to further cut off sources of revenue and fuel that the regime uses to fund its nuclear program and sustain its military by targeting 56 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses that are assisting North Korea in evading sanctions.”

Trump has tangled with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un throughout his presidency. Kim has threatened attacks on the U.S. mainland, while Trump has publicly belittled the North Korean leader and promised a strong and proactive stance against Kim.

The announcement comes as top aides in the White House, including the president’s daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpKushner resisting giving up top access amid scrutiny over security clearances: report In new memo, Kelly changes White House security clearance process Kushner disclosed additional assets in amended financial disclosure form: report MORE, head to South Korea for the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies.

North Korea was a key topic on the mind of Vice President Pence, who attended the Olympics opening ceremonies, when he addressed the CPAC crowd Thursday. He specifically took aim at the media, accusing reporters of criticizing him for not standing as the unified Korean team entered the ceremonies during his visit.

“For all those in the media who think I should have stood and cheered with the North Koreans, I say: The United States of America doesn't stand with murderous dictatorships. The United States of America stands up to murderous dictatorships," Pence said to loud cheers.

The sanctions come days after it was reported that North Korean officials canceled a meeting with Pence in South Korea over Pence's announcement that the administration was at the time working on the sanctions package.

"I’m announcing today that the United States of America will soon unveil the toughest and most aggressive round of economic sanctions on North Korea ever," Pence said earlier this month during a news conference in Japan, standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We will continue to isolate North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile program once and for all."

Reuters reports that Friday's announcement could constitute the largest package of sanctions ever levied against the country, which has seen relations with its closest neighbor, South Korea, cool down over the countries' joint cooperation for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

John Bowden contributed. 

Updated 9:50 a.m.