U.S. President Donald Trump announced a new executive order to target individuals, companies that trade with North Korea, the latest step to deter the regime from further developing its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump said on Thursday that China's central bank has told its other banks to immediately halt business with North Korea.
The president added that the U.S. move targets only one country, which is North Korea.
Tensions have escalated in recent weeks over Pyongyang's missile and nuclear weapons program, despite intense pressure from world powers.
The president placed the threat posed by North Korea at the center of his debut at this week's U.N. General Assembly, escalating his rhetoric against North Korea amid a months-long crisis over Kim Jong Un's expanded missile testing program. National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday the new measures would stop "short of war."
Trump, in his Tuesday address to the U.N., said it was "far past time" for the world to confront Kim, declaring that the North Korean leader's pursuit of nuclear weapons poses a threat to "the entire world with an unthinkable loss of human life."
"Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime," Trump said, mocking the North Korean leader even as he sketched out potentially cataclysmic consequences. The president spoke of his own nation's "patience," but said that if "forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."