US President Donald Trump on Friday withdrew by surprise the latest economic sanctions imposed on North Korea in an apparent reference to those announced Thursday against two Chinese shipping companies for helping North Korea with oil supplies.
“It was announced today by the Treasury Department that additional large-scale sanctions would be added to existing ones against North Korea, and today I ordered the withdrawal of those additional sanctions!” Trump said in a message on Twitter, without providing further details.
Minutes later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders issued a brief statement in which she said that “President Trump likes the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un,” and does not believe that these sanctions are necessary.
The unusual reversal seems to refer to the sanctions imposed on Thursday by the Treasury Department to two companies: Dalian Haibo International Freight Co. Ltd. (Dalian Haibo) and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. Ltd. (Liaoning Danxing), two shipping companies which, according to the US, are based in China.
The Treasury Department yesterday justified its decision on the sanctions adopted by the United Nations in September 2018, whose purpose was to try to economically drown North Korea for its nuclear program by adopting a punishment on its oil and petroleum imports.
“The US and our partners remain committed to achieving the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea and we believe that the full imposition of the sanctions of the UN Security Council is crucial to a successful outcome,” he said. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement on Thursday.
As a consequence of the announced sanctions, the assets that both companies may have under US jurisdiction were frozen. and Americans were prohibited from making any kind of financial transactions with them.
In addition, White House national security adviser John Bolton used his official Twitter account to warn “everyone” to take note of these sanctions.
“Important Treasury sanctions today, the maritime industry must do more to end North Korea’s illegal naval practices.” Everyone should take note and review their own actions to make sure they are not involved in the evasion of sanctions on Korea. of the North, “Bolton wrote.
The second summit between Trump and Kim, held in February in Vietnam, ended earlier than expected due to the lack of agreement between both parties on the denuclearization process of North Korea.
The United States attributed the failure of the summit in Hanoi to the presumed North Korean demand that all US sanctions be lifted in exchange for advances in denuclearization, while North Korea contradicted Trump and said he had only asked for partial relief.