President Trump promised to slap “additional major sanctions” on North Korea Wednesday, just one day after the rogue nation fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile in months.
Trump’s announcement followed a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, ahead of a United Nations Security Council meeting slated for later Wednesday.
“Just spoke to President XI JINGPING of China concerning the provocative actions of North Korea,” Trump tweeted. “Additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!”
Trump and Xi had discussed the latest missile launch, according to the White House.
“President Trump underscored the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies from the growing threat posed by the North Korean regime,” the White House said in a statement. “President Trump emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”
After North Korea fired its highest-ever intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump on Tuesday promised to “take care of it.” The launch was the first since the country fired an intermediate range missile in September. Tuesday’s ICBM flew 1,000 miles higher than during the first ICBM launch in July.
North Korea has now test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles in its history.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters on Tuesday.
The latest clash, though, follows the administration’s designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, which came with additional sanctions on the rogue nation.
While it is unclear what “major additional sanctions” the president was referring to on Twitter, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said they were exploring an additional round.
“We have a long list of additional potential sanctions — some of which involve additional financial institutions,” Tillerson said at the State Department Wednesday. “The Treasury Department will be announcing those when they’re ready to roll those out.”
Last week, the Treasury Department announced new measures to pair with the designation of a state sponsor of terrorism, including sanctions on one individual, 13 entities, and 20 vessels as the U.S. takes action “multilaterally and unilaterally” to disrupt North Korea’s funding of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
Those sanctions were set to “maximize economic pressure” to “isolate” North Korea from outside sources of trade and revenue, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week upon the rollout of the sanctions.
The sanctions were on four Chinese trading companies, and a Chinese national said to have conducted hundreds of millions of dollars in business dealings with North Korea. Those sanctioned are barred from holding U.S. assets or doing business wth Americans.
Unclear is whether Trump’s Wednesday tweet was referring to those U.S. efforts, or penalties that might come out of the U.N. Security Council.
The State Department and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for clarification.
Fox News’ Rich Edson contributed to this report.