New US sanctions target virtually all ships N.Korea is using - Mnuchin

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In addressing the Trump administration's biggest national security challenge, the US Treasury sanctioned one person, 27 companies and 28 ships, according to a statement on the US Treasury Department's website.

It coincides with the U.S. imposing its largest package of unilateral sanctions against North Korea on Friday, intensifying pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

But it took the President almost 80 minutes to mention the sanctions - which he did only briefly - at the end of his free-wheeling speech.

In fact, these measures are the "heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country", the president revealed at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). "But hopefully the sanctions will work".

The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control described the move as the largest North Korea-related sanctions action yet, in the ongoing U.S. "maximum pressure campaign" to force Pyongyang to relinquish its nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

The United States on Friday announced a fresh package of sanctions on North Korea that President Donald Trump called the "largest-ever" set of punishments aimed at pressing the reclusive country to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

The Trump administration is tightening the noose on North Korea, strangling the life out of its economy like never before. Along with worldwide companies such as Shandong, China-based Weihai World-Shipping Freight and Shanghai, China-based Shangahi Dongfeng Shipping Co. Ltd. Tsang has a record of sanctions evasion activities, according to Treasury. The administration on Friday also targeted 16 North Korean shipping companies and 19 of their vessels.

He says if a deal can be reached with North Korea it will be a "great thing". "We're going to do everything to stop these ship-to-ship transfers".

China's compliance efforts have been hampered by a number of incidents of sanction-busting operations.

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The point of these sanctions, an official said, is not just to punish the rouge nation, but to raise "the cost of doing business with North Korea" for other countries.

James Risch (R-Idaho) held an open press gaggle at USA House in the Yongpyong Resort before the US delegation attended their first event for the day.

The move, after a lull in tensions during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, indicated that the White House intends to renew pressure against Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons program.

Trump's adviser and daughter, Ivanka Trump, arrived Friday in South Korea to attend the Pyeongchang closing ceremony.

But in purely economic terms, both Mnuchin and Trump are well wide of the mark. She was decked out in a Team USA hat and red snowsuit. She discussed the sanctions with South Korean President Moon Jae-in ahead of their release, Mnuchin told reporters Friday.

Asked if she had the appropriate security clearance, Mnuchin said, "She has the appropriate access to brief the president".

In December the United States proposed 10 ships for blacklisting, the committee agreed to the designated four, while diplomats said China objected listing the remaining six.

Moon hopes to make the Olympics an avenue for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.