U.S. Could Speed Up Sanctions Against North Korea

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President Donald Trump, followed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, and White House Economic Council Director Gary Cohn arrives for a meeting on the Federal budget, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in ... Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Trump administration could respond to North Korea's latest failed missile test by speeding up its plans for new U.S. sanctions against Pyongyang, including possible measures against specific North Korean and Chinese entities, a U.S. official told Reuters on Friday.

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With North Korea acting in defiance of pressure from the United States and North Korea's main ally, China, Washington could also conduct new naval drills and deploy more ships and aircraft in the region as a show of force, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"It's possible that something could be sped up," the official said of the potential for imposing new unilateral sanctions on North Korea. "Something that's ready to go could be taken from the larger package and expedited."

The source said the missile launch was the kind of "provocation" that had been anticipated ahead of South Korea's May 9 election, and President Donald Trump could use the test-firing to further press China to do more to rein in North Korea. (Reporting by Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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