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Trump reverses US Treasury sanctions on North Korea as he 'likes' Kim

'President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary,' White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said

Donald Trump  |  Trump Kim  |  Kim Jong Un

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

File photo of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
File photo of US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

has abruptly ordered the withdrawal of additional "large-scale" sanctions on North Korea, immediately after the Treasury Department imposed them, with his press secretary saying that the US "likes" North Korean leader and does not think they are necessary.

Trump's unusual move comes after his second summit with Kim, held last month in Hanoi, . Trump walked out of that summit after refusing to agree to North Korea's demands of lifting all sanctions.

"It was announced today by the that additional large- scale sanctions would be added to those already existing sanctions on . I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional sanctions!" Trump tweeted on Friday.

This was an apparent reference to sanctions the Treasury Department has announced Thursday on Chinese shipping companies doing business with . Those sanctions prompted swift pushback from the Chinese and North Korean governments.

The two companies are Dalian Haibo Freight Co. Ltd and Liaoning Danxing Forwarding Co. Ltd.

The sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and Kim broke down in Hanoi.

"The US and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome," said Treasury Secretary .

"Treasury will continue to enforce our sanctions, and we are making it explicitly clear that shipping companies employing deceptive tactics to mask illicit trade with North Korea expose themselves to great risk," it said.

The National Security Advisor described it as an "important" action.

"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," Bolton tweeted.

The White House, however, defended Trump's decision.

" Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

In June, Trump and Kim had their first-ever historic meeting aimed at normalising ties and complete denuclearisation of the .

While North Korea since then has refrained from overtly provocative actions like testing nuclear warheads or ballistic missiles, it has yet to agree to actually give up any piece of its atomic arsenal.

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First Published: Sat, March 23 2019. 11:45 IST