"All options are on the table". These words have been brought up repeatedly when it comes to dealing with North Korea since the Trump administration came into office.
Citing U.S. intelligence officials, Reuters reported that the U.S. is considering tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, banning operations of the regime's airline Air Koryo and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.
Trump has apparently approved a preliminary broad approach on North Korea and other actions to deter North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
On the international stage, Washington could seek to bring stronger UN sanctions that prohibit employing North Korean workers by third countries and expanding the restrictions on North Korea coal exports to a total ban.
While potential sanctions are under review by Washington, the significant characterisitc of the Trump administration is that it's using China to solve the North Korea issue.
"There is not a single option that is most effective. It's going to be a combination of different options.// There is the option of pressuring China not just diplomatic pressure but also military pressure: bringing the missile defense system to South Korea. But then we always have to combine diplomatic pressure, diplomatic overture with Beijing to determine the future of Norht Korea or the Korean peninsula.
The possibility of a preemptive strike against North Korea for now seems to be an unlikely scenario as National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on ABC news said it is time to undertake all actions 'short of a military option'.
"What South Korean foreign ministry officials here in Seoul are saying is that no U.S. administration has been proactive about resolving the North Korea issue through China and that Washington has promised that there will be no surprises for Seoul when it comes to using the options against the North.
Connie Kim, Arirang News."