Trump, South Korean president playing good cop, bad cop with North Korea

ABC News' Amna Nawaz discusses what new sanctions on the North Korean regime might look like.
8:39 | 09/21/17

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Transcript for Trump, South Korean president playing good cop, bad cop with North Korea
And there you have the and M photo opportunity there after a meeting between president trump and South Korea's president. Mu Jiang in response happening on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly right here in New York hi guys I'm on an Abbas also live in New York. Making headlines today though is something the president trump said earlier today after another photo opportunity down with the off on president. In which he hinted at additional sanctions coming down. On North Korea want to talk a little bit about how that relationship has progressed especially after president trumps. Pretty fiery speech at the UN just days ago joining me down in Washington DC. Joseph syringe Sione he's the president that the plowshares fund of the member of the council on foreign relations. Joseph let's start with that because this isn't today the news that he is the president trump saying there could be additional. Sanctions coming against North Korea. That's a far cry from the fire and fury of several weeks back also a far cry from the president's own statement just days ago. Wallace president congress heard from military advisors. There are military options but no military solution any military attack on North Korea. Would undoubtedly be met by ferocious counterattack. From North Korea this is not Syria who hit North Korea dated back. So sanctions. Are the one tool that he had eyes besides negotiations. It actually could have an impact and there are set tougher sanctions that the US. Could unilaterally impose. Particularly. On some of North Korea's banking trying. Actions we've done this in the past you could target some of the bank accounts that the North Korean leadership uses and hit them pretty hard. You could also in this is the interesting question we're watching. You could decide to put secondary sanctions. On countries that are doing business with North Korea particularly China this would be very controversial. You'll see he takes this kind of effort now the words. Penalizing Chinese banks who are doing business with North Korea. Do I wanna talk a little bit more about the sanctions and a moment but just to back it up for anyone who missed it though his remarks. On Tuesday this is president trump speaking at the United Nations General Assembly this is what had a lot of folks worried when he had to speak about North Korea take a listen. No nation. On our. Has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself. With nuclear weapons and minutes. The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies. We will have no choice. But to totally destroying. North Korea. Rocket man. Is on a suicide mission for himself. And for his regime. The United States is ready. Willing and able. But hopefully. This will not be necessary. That swat the United Nations. Is all about. So Joseph you have paired president trump threatening to destroy a an entire nation that led to a North Korean representative. Referring to president trump as they barking dog there was this escalation in the war of words this this new talk of sanctions now CDU that'd been. No I think he's just pulling another arrow out of his court. I had I don't think president Tropicana back often rhetoric at all it's been constant. It is approach towards North Korea he likes doing this place while with its pace even know this is universally. Condemned by our allies. And those who seek to work with this is had a very negative reaction around the globe China calling it very helpful the South Koreans cringing. As her these words Japan. Perhaps to close the ally closest personally to president trump in the region refusing even to comment on it most of the experts. That I know believe that this will actually in bold in North Korea's they say they gave Kim Jong-un leader of North Korea this sound bite of the century. North Koreans that government can play this over and over and it proves their point they have to get new. Lee weapons they have to get missiles because the US is out to destroy. He talked about what these new sanctions could potentially look like it's worth pointing out. As a lot of multilateral body the united nations Security Council has unanimously approved sanctions nine times now since 2006 the latest. Just earlier this month when he came to capping fuel supplies so what kind of effect but additional sanctions now half why would these be the ones that make. The different yeah and here US diplomacy has done has worked very well you've got to give kudos to. That Nikki Haley. For pulling off the sanctions he's a very tough. Sanctions resolutions are only still it's still being implement hadn't been fully implement yet but additional sanctions sanctions could be targeted could focus in. Unlike general sanctions at a prohibiting for example. Cole or purchased coal by other countries or prohibiting the sale of certain oil supplies to North Korea peace can be I would suspect. That they're being targeted more directly at the banks more a more finely tuned Africa hurt the North Korean leadership itself to tie up. There ability use the funds to buy luxury goods from. There's also something to put into context here because the South Korean president spoke earlier at the United Nations. And while he shared president trumps concerns here about the threat North Korea poses. There's a softening of language there there was also additional funds provided by South Korea to North Korea for humanitarian aid. It's a little bit of a good cop bad cop situation going on here what. The South Koreans president moon came in urgent dialogue. North Korea. He he believes that the only way to solve this by negotiating agreement I think that's that's true. But he's been frustrated by two things one is that continuing relentless testing program. Of the north. Which makes it very difficult for this out politically to have that kind of dialogue and they've been unnerved by the language. A president trump particularly this suggestion. That they could fight the war over there that millions would die but they would die in Korea well if you're Korean. That is very. Unsettling so this the president moon is trying to thread the needle here trying to find a way to beat top. To stay close to the United States. But not provoke either president trump what Kim Jong oh won in a way that can have a stumbling into a war that no one. Well and don't you raise an interesting point here which is worth pointing out of with the actual fact. Four people on the ground for talking about a nation of 26 million people who have already been living. Under incredibly impoverished circumstances. The North Korean representative in Geneva with act a UN committee. For the rights of the child and basically said look any additional sanctions are only going to hurt the children here we RD have trouble. Providing for them you're only going to hurt these people more what about back part of. You creation. What this is true this is the ugly truth about sanctions should feel good taking them are relatively peaceful measures they dictate and it does hurt the country. But it hurts the country. The leaders are relatively immune to the sanctions L lifestyle is hardly affected at all what you'll see is tightening. Things like medical supplies for example invariably you remember the sanctions against rock. Before the Iraq War cost in enormous suffering. For the Iraqi People themselves. In the end sanctions can never be put on such a way that they couldn't hell. A country to either collapse. Or comply with it demands the only useful as a troll for getting that country in two negotiating table what's been lacking. In that the administration's program what they say it's maximum pressure and engagement is the engagement part. No engagement whatsoever with North Korea even though the Korean foreign minister North Korean foreign ministers there. At the UN this week could meet with secretary of state. It's all being done very very low level. No no sign that the US hasn't coherent. Plan for how to use its pressure how to use these threats to arrive at a diplomatic negotiated solution. Meanwhile will keep an eye on both those talks and of course the president's Twitter feed in the days moving forward to answer and Sione. President of the plow shares fund thanks for joining thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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