The U.S. is prepared to unveil tough new sanctions on North Korea as soon as Tuesday, but could hold off as the countries try to revive a summit that President Donald Trump canceled last week, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The newspaper, citing two administration officials, said the Treasury Department had assembled sanctions that would take aim at about three-dozen targets, including Russian and Chinese entities.
The development comes as U.S. and North Korean officials negotiate over a planned denuclearization summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump called off the meeting last week in an unexpected letter that mixed friendly-sounding sentiments with bellicose language that hinted at possible nuclear warfare between the two nations.
The U.S. president blamed recent jabs by North Korea's government for his decision to cancel the gathering, but he also left the door open to talks.
Almost immediately, however, stakeholders – South Korea, most prominently – began an effort to salvage the summit, which was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
There are strong signals that the summit is back on track. South Korean President Moon Jae-in, meanwhile, appears to be jockeying for a seat at the table. Moon and Kim held a surprise meeting to address the potential summit with Trump.
The U.S. already has imposed sanctions on North Korea, although the communist dictatorship still has some means to get money from countries that have resisted the American measures. Russia has helped facilitate transactions with North Korea, the Journal said, citing U.S. and United Nations officials.
The White House didn't immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.