US President Donald Trump has halted sanctions against North Korea – because he “likes” Kim Jong-un and believes they’re unnecessary.
Officials later clarified he would only be cancelling planned additional sanctions, rather than reversing ones currently in effect.
Tweeting from his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, he wrote: “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!”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders later clarified that Trump “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary”.
North Korea has for decades been subjected to US-led sanctions severely limiting the goods it can exchange, crippling its economy.
Trump’s announcement came just hours after his administration announced it was sanctioning two Chinese shipping countries suspected of helping Kim Jong-un evade the sanctions.
The move was the first taken against Pyongyang since nuclear negotiations with the US in Hanoi last month ended without agreement.
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That meeting ended abruptly when the US President walked out of the summit claiming Kim had offered him a “bad deal”.
It was also reported he walked out of the meeting because the North Korean dictator wanted a lifting of all sanctions in return for continued disarmament and dismantling of nuclear infrastructure.
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