Trump 'Likes' Kim Jong Un, So Scraps New Sanctions


Trump orders withdrawal of fresh North Korea-related sanctions announced earlier by US Treasury

The Treasury Department announced on Thursday it would be imposing new sanctions against Pyongyang, further restricting the isolated, nuclear-armed state's options for global trade.

In our news wrap Friday, President Trump announced that he is withdrawing sanctions his administration imposed on North Korea just yesterday.

"President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary", the president's spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said.

On Thursday, Trump national security advisor John Bolton had tweeted that the sanctions were meant to put an end to "illicit shipping practices" by North Korea.

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On Friday, North Korea pulled its staff from a joint office shared with South Korean officials in the town of Kaesong, the opening of which was heralded as a thawing of relations between the two nations.

President Donald Trump speaks with North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 27.

North Korea was offering a bad deal that wasn't reciprocal or proportionate, says Jung Pak, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The move was announced by the US President through Twitter on Friday.

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Harry Kazianis of the conservative Center for the National Interest think tank said Trump's tweet could be an effort to defuse tensions that seemed to be building between Washington and Pyongyang and the risk of North Korea pulling out of talks. 'Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea's sanctions evasion'. "And it seems to me this takes everything to a new level of dysfunction that if the president can tweet something about his own policy on sanctions and nobody quite understands what it means, how do you run foreign policy?"

"The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome", Mnuchin said in a statement Thursday, according to Fox News.

Trump has stressed his good personal relationship with Kim and his administration has stressed its willingness to reengage with North Korea.

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".

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