Speaking at a new conference on Friday, President Trump warned of serious consequences if the latest round of sanctions did not generate results. "But that just was announced, and I wanted to let you know we have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed", Trump said soon after the Department of Treasury announced a series of tough sanctions.
Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser, arrived in South Korea on Friday to attend the closing ceremony this weekend.
"The President has made it clear to companies worldwide that if they choose to help fund North Korea's nuclear ambitions, they will not do business with the United States".
The measures, which target North Korea's attempts to evade United Nations sanctions through deceptive shipping practices, were the latest in the administration's policy of applying "maximum pressure" on the country to compel it to engage in credible talks for denuclearisation.More news: Taliban kill 18 soldiers in attack on Afghanistan army base
North Korea has thus far resisted the "maximum pressure" campaign led by the United States to try to force Pyongyang to cede its nuclear weapons.
We imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before, he said. China appears determined to prove itself to the global community, with North Korean trade down 52% from one year ago.
Also, why has the Trump administration not sanctioned more North Korean entities for human rights violations?
That practice is prohibited under the latest United Nations sanctions imposed in September following North Korea's most recent underground nuclear tests.
While Trump's advisors have said they do not want to take military action against the rogue regime, Trump has previously responded to North Korea's provocations with explosive rhetoric.More news: Armed deputy stood outside Florida school building during shootings: sheriff
And the USA has limited leverage over numerous shipping companies involved in helping North Korea evade sanctions, warns Gary Samore, former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Ivanka Trump's visit to South Korea coincides with that of a sanctioned North Korean official, Kim Yong Chol, blamed for the deadly 2010 sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors.
"[The U.S.] Treasury [Department] is aggressively targeting all illicit avenues used by North Korea to evade sanctions, including taking decisive action to block the vessels, shipping companies, and entities across the globe that work on North Korea's behalf", said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in a printed statement.
"As appropriate, we will look at sanctioning individuals from the information they have", Mnuchin said.
But Sanders said she believed the seating arrangements would be different on Sunday as the curtain falls on the Games at Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium.More news: Canada's Toutant wins first Olympic big air gold
US Vice-President Mike Pence awkwardly sat nearly directly in front of Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, at the Olympics opening ceremony, where athletes from the two Koreas marched together. During his speech to the South Korean National Assembly, Trump denounced North Korean leaders who "imprison their people under the banner of tyranny, fascism, and oppression".