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Tillerson refuses to specify new US sanctions against North Korea

Earlier, President Trump said that the Treasury Department was going to be announcing additional sanctions on Tuesday

WASHINGTON, November 21. /TASS/. US State Secretary Rex Tillerson refused to announce what new sanctions the US intends to introduce against Pyongyang.

Earlier Washington again designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.

"I'd like to leave it to Treasury to announce those tomorrow," Tillerson said at the White House Daily Press Briefing.

Earlier, President Donald Trump said that the Treasury Department is going to be announcing additional sanctions on Tuesday. He described the level of sanctions as "a very large, one of the highest level of sanctions."

According to Tillerson, the new set of sanctions "may disrupt and dissuade some third parties from undertaking certain activities with North Korea, as it does impose a prohibition on a number of other activities that might not be covered by existing sanctions."

The steps which are now being taken by the US administration are aimed to increase the pressure on North Korea, Tillerson said.

At the same time he admitted that the sanctions are symbolic.

"It is very symbolic, on the one hand, because it just points out, again, what a rogue regime [of North Korea - TASS] this is, and how brutal this regime is, and how little they care for the value of human life," he said.

"And as I've said, the practical effects may be limited but we hopefully we're closing off a few loopholes with this," he added.

Putting a country on the list of sponsors of terrorism by the US State Department gives the Treasury grounds to take punitive measures against that country’s legal entities and individuals, as well as states that conduct trade with that country. In particular such measures include banning supplies of weapons and dual-use products, as well as any banking operations. All these sanctions that were imposed against North Korea back in 1987, when it was first recognized by the US as a sponsor of terrorism, remained effective after President George W. Bush, in 2008, excluded Pyongyang from that list as an encouragement for participating in the six-party talks on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.