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Trump cancels new sanctions on North Korea

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the President ‘likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary’.

President Donald Trump said the sanctions were not needed (Carolyn Kaster/AP)
President Donald Trump said the sanctions were not needed (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Donald Trump said he has reversed his administration’s decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea.

His press secretary explained that the President “likes” leader Kim Jong Un and does not think the measures are necessary.

It is unclear, however, which sanctions Mr Trump was referencing in his tweet, which took Treasury officials by surprise.

“It was announced today by the US Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Mr Trump wrote from his private club in Palm Beach.

“I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Mr Trump was referring to.

On Thursday, his administration did sanction two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions — the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since Mr Trump and Mr Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month for negotiations about North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme.

The summit ended without a deal.

Mr Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton had described that step as “Important” action, tweeting, “The maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Mr Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary”.

The White House had said Thursday’s sanctions were evidence the US was maintaining pressure on North Korea in an effort to coax its leader to give up his nuclear weapons programme.

The Treasury Department sanctioned Dalian Haibo International Freight and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding for using deceptive methods to circumvent international and US sanctions and the US commitment to implementing existing UN Security Council resolutions.

PA

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