“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
The US has increased to seven the number of countries now subject to travel bans into the country, adding North Korea, Venezuela and Chad to President Trump’s “extreme vetting” approach to national security.
The list, which would have numbered eight had Sudan been removed from the ban, already included Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The countries have been singled out by Trump after he made a pre-election pledge to prevent all Muslims from entering the US. That original religion-wide ban was quashed by US federal judges as unlawful, forcing President Trump to amend the commitment.
Reacting to the latest news, Trump tweeted from his personal Twitter account: “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
Extreme vetting is the US’s policy to identify potential enemies of the state by making it much harder for them to enter the country, as covered by Transport Security World, but the latest announcement by the president has escalated that. Covered by the extreme vetting measures, though not a total ban, is Iraq, whose inhabitants are likely to face a much more complicated and, most likely, lengthier process if they try to enter the US. Existing visas won’t be revoked under the plans, according to the US.
Venezuela bans extend only to certain government officials and their families, after the country was engulfed in mass demonstrations due to the oil-producing country’s dire financial state. Trump said when the roubles were at their peak that we was considering military action in the South American country to bring about peace.
The addition of Chad, which Trump said was not adequately policing “safety and terrorism related information”, was met with surprise by many owing to the fact that America itself has long praised the African country for its help in fighting terrorism. Neighbours Nigeria and Niger, which aren’t banned from the US, face a much greater threat from terrorism at present.
The action taken against North Korea, however, will be less of a surprise. It follows a war of words between President Trump and the Asian country’s leader, Kim Jong-Un, after the Asian country continued to defy international pressure and test missiles and nuclear weapons despite it being subject to incredibly stringent trade sanctions.
Trump has in the last few days used his Twitter account to threaten Kim Jong-Un, making it clear that “the Little Rocket Man”, as he called him, “won’t be around much longer” if his campaign of testing of explosives continued. Kim Jong-Un appeared to take the comments personally and took the unprecedented step to comment specifically, threatening the President that he would “pay dearly” for his comments. North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, has since said that the country had the power to detonate a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean, a claim that has not been verified by experts.
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