President Trump cancels new sanctions targeting North Korea in stunning tweet that overrides his Treasury Dept.
Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump made the surprise announcement Friday that he was cancelling a new round of sanctions intended to target North Korea announced only 24 hours earlier by his own administration.
“It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Trump tweeted after arriving at his Mar a Lago club in Florida. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”
It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2019
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the president’s announcement in a statement, citing his personal friendship with the North Korean dictator.
“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” Sanders said.
The Treasury Department just Thursday had announced the round of sanctions targeting two Chinese shipping companies that it said have helped North Korea evade sanctions.
The tweet marked a stunning and major policy reversal of the first round of sanctions targeting the regime since Trump’s failed Hanoi summit with Kim last month.
In a tweet following the original sanctions announcement, President Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton highlighted the move as an “important” step and warned other countries against similar actions to aid North Korea.
Important actions today from @USTreasury; the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices. Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion. https://t.co/AVnOPrWbH6
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) March 21, 2019
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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