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22 Mar, 2019 17:33

Trump withdraws latest round of North Korea-related sanctions… or not?

Trump withdraws latest round of North Korea-related sanctions… or not?

President Trump’s imprecise wording in his tweeted reversal of the latest sanctions against North Korea has left many analysts puzzled about what exactly the US leader meant to say.

Donald Trump sparked quite some confusion on Friday when he declared on Twitter that the US would be canceling “additional sanctions” against Pyongyang. While initially it was thought the president was referring to the latest sanctions announced by the Treasury Department on Thursday, some administration officials familiar with the matter told the Washington Post that Trump was indeed “referring to a future round of previously unknown sanctions scheduled for the coming days,” as no new sanctions had been issued against the North on Friday when Trump made the micro statement.

“It was announced today by the US 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!” Trump wrote, capitalizing the “Sanctions”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders did not elaborate on exactly which sanctions Trump had in mind, yet provided the reasoning behind the move.

President Trump likes Chairman Kim [Jong Un] and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.

On Thursday the US Treasury blacklisted two shipping companies, based in China, which have been accused of violating the US embargo against North Korea.

The companies have allegedly been engaging in “deceptive practices” to help Pyongyang procure some goods, yet the Treasury did not elaborate on what exactly these goods are.

Also on rt.com Washington targets Chinese firms in new round of North Korea-related sanctions

While Trump’s decision might contribute a bit to easing tensions, it is not a meaningful step towards sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula, Eric Sirotkin, co-founder of the Lawyers for Peace and Demilitarization in Korea, believes. “Sanctions are an obstacle to peace. You can pull back the sanctions on Monday and you can return the sanctions on Wednesday if you needed to” Sirotkin told RT.

Also on rt.com Seoul ‘regrets’ its drills with US forced Pyongyang to cancel intra-Korean talks

The batch of sanctions imposed on Thursday had, apparently, triggered a reaction in North Korea, which walked out of a liaison office near the demilitarized zone that it has shared since last September with the South. Pyongyang did not made it clear that the move came in response to the US sanctions, while South Korea’s Unification Ministry simply said the officials from the North had followed “instructions from the superior authority.”

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