Sullivan says US to lodge more sanctions against North Korea

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday that the United States is working a new round of sanctions against North Korea.

This comes as Pyongyang forges ahead with banned missile development and signals a possible new nuclear test.

“We have a new set of sanctions measures coming forward as we speak,” he told a conference in Seoul organized by the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies and the South Korean JoongAng media group.

He did not elaborate but said Washington was committed to using pressure and diplomacy to entice North Korea into giving up its nuclear arsenal.

The “North Star” of US Joe Biden’s North Korea policy is the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, and it remains steadfast in pursuing that goal while being flexible in working with partners on how to achieve it, he said as quoted by Reuters.

Sullivan pointed to increased cooperation between the United States, South Korea, and Japan, which have increased joint military drills.

The United States is also working on a more “visible” regional presence of its strategic assets, Sullivan said, referring to major weapons such as aircraft carriers and long-range bombers.

North Korea has said denuclearisation is off the table, and accused the United States and its allies of pursuing “hostile” policies, including sanctions, that have left it no choice but to expand its military.

Sullivan said Washington had no ill intent toward North Korea and is open to talks without preconditions.

“Pyongyang has rejected this sincere outreach,” he said.

The last round of US sanctions in October targeted two Singapore-registered companies and a Marshall Islands-registered firm that Washington said support Pyongyang’s weapons programmes and its military.