Trump announces cancellation of new round of sanctions targeting North Korea

Sergio Conner
March 22, 2019

President Donald Trump says he is reversing his administration's decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea, ordering them withdrawn.

The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Kim's government declared after a February nuclear summit that talks would discontinue with the USA if Trump refused a demand for sanctions relief.

Trump's Twitter post appeared not only at odds with the Treasury Department, but with his own national security adviser, John Bolton, a hardliner who North Korea blamed for the breakdown of a second Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi last month. On Thursday, the Treasury Department announced that the administration was taking action to punish two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping Pyongyang evade worldwide trade sanctions on Kim Jong Un's government.

"President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary".

'There is no question that Trump is being played by Kim Jong Un-one of the world's most vicious dictators.

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White House statement cited Kim Jong-un as a reason to relax sanctions. Trump walked out of that summit after refusing to agree to the North's demands of lifting all sanctions. Trump believes his own personal relationship with Kim would convince the North Korean dictator to abandon his country's decades-old effort to be able to hit the US mainland with a nuclear strike.

Another North Korea expert, Bruce Klingner, said that while Thursday's Treasury action was limited, an accompanying notice seemed to hint of stronger future actions. The announcement came shortly after Trump's failed denuclearization summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

"Important actions today from @USTreasury". "The maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea's illicit shipping practices".

Trump is determined, officials said, to prevent his aides from undercutting what he views as his biggest foreign policy accomplishments: reducing tensions with North Korea and creating the opportunity for an historic deal.

In a briefing on the sanctions with reporters Thursday, an administration official similarly touted the significance of the sanctions, characterizing the package as "unprecedented" and "comprehensive".

North Korea has been the subject of a series of United States and global sanctions over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and missile tests.

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