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Trump says he is withdrawing earlier North Korea-related sanctions

22 March 2019

President Donald Trump has rejected new sanctions against North Korea due to his relationship with leader Kim Jong Un.

The White House and U.S. Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for clarification.

Kim's government declared after a February nuclear summit that talks would discontinue with the US if Trump refused a demand for sanctions relief. -North Korea summit broke down last month. However, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions late Thursday against two Chinese shipping companies for their alleged role in evading United Nations sanctions against North Korea, reports The Washington Post.

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

White House statement cited Kim Jong-un as a reason to relax sanctions.

Harry Kazianis of the conservative Center for the National Interest think tank said Trump's move 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. Ltd. for using deceptive methods to circumvent worldwide and USA sanctions and the US commitment to implementing existing U.N. Security Council resolutions. The announcement came shortly after Trump's failed denuclearization summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

"Trump's cancelling out of sanctions might have been a bid to get North Korea to change its thinking", he said.

"Important actions today from @USTreasury".

In a tweet, he wrote that "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'.

The policy reversal appeared to expose the sharp differences within the Trump administration on North Korea policy.

Trump has sought to project to Kim that while some in his administration are skeptical, he is the ultimate decider and strikes a friendler posture, officials said.

Earlier on Friday, North Korea withdrew its officials from a liaison office with North Korea in an apparent response to the Treasury Department's sanctions announcement on Thursday.

The White House signaled Friday that the president was willing to prevent new sanctions from going into effect in order to keep the conversation going.

Trump says he is withdrawing earlier North Korea-related sanctions