Trump says he is withdrawing earlier North Korea-related sanctions

Trump says he is withdrawing earlier North Korea-related sanctions

US President Donald Trump's tweet on withdrawing sanctions against North Korea has sparked confusion among administration officials.

In exchange, North Korea wanted the U.S. to "removes partial sanctions, the articles of sanctions that hamper the economy and the livelihood of our people", Ri said.

But there were no new US sanctions on North Korea announced on Friday, leading news organizations, lawmakers and experts to believe Trump was referring to the Treasury's blacklisting on Thursday of two Chinese shipping companies that it said helped North Korea evade sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme. That includes when Trump announced, via tweet, that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 4 he was hopeful he could send a team to North Korea "in the next couple of weeks", but there has been no sign of a North Korean willingness to extend such an invitation.

It's unclear whether Trump's decision was related to North Korea's move on Friday to abruptly withdraw its staff from a liaison office with South Korea.

"Usually a national security process exists to make policy decisions AND agree on rollout and messaging", Alyssa Ayres, a former State Department official, said in a tweet. All declined to comment.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday that Trump North Korea's leader likes Kim and they do not think these sanction will be necessary.

The official said the US and all United Nations members should work continuously to maintain the integrity of the sanctions. They 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 program.

Futhermore, the department identified the newly sanctioned companies as Dalian Haibo International Freight Co Ltd and Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co Ltd.

Calls to the two companies rang without response Friday or were answered by people who immediately hung up the phone.

CNN cited a senior administration official as saying this action is part of the continuous push to ensure that entities and countries are "not taking their foot off the gas pedal".

The sanctions on Thursday were the first since his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi last month, which collapsed over conflicting demands by Pyongyang for sanctions relief and by Washington for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. They said the deceptive practices include disabling or manipulating ship identification systems, repainting the names on vessels and falsifying cargo documents.

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