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US plans bans on North Korea, South invites sanctioned official

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US plans bans on North Korea, South invites sanctioned official
 The United States is reportedly set to unveil a large package of sanctions against North Korea, even as Pyongyang is continuing to engage its main rival Seoul in pursuit of peace.
The administration of US President Donald Trump will announce on Friday what is being described as “the largest package of new sanctions” ever against Pyongyang in an attempt to put more pressure on the North Korean government over its nuclear and missile programs, a senior administration official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Trump is expected to talk about the new measures during a mid-morning speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, and the Treasury Department will get into the details later in the day, according to the official.
North Korea, already under numerous harsh UN and other international sanctions, has resisted the pressure campaign led by Washington to try to force Pyongyang to halt its weapons program. It has vowed to keep up the development of its weapons programs as a deterrent against foreign aggression, including by the US, which has substantial offensive military presence in the region.
US Vice President Mike Pence had spoken about the plan for the new sanctions when he was heading to South Korea from Tokyo two weeks ago.
Pence, who led a US delegation to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s PyeongChang, had reportedly planned to secretly meet with a high-level delegation of North Korean leaders, but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, according to the US State Department. The cancellation allegedly came after Pence spoke of the sanctions.
The US vice president used tough rhetoric against Pyongyang again on Thursday in response to criticism of his choice to pass up several opportunities to meet North Korean officials during the Olympics.