The Treasury Department said Thursday that the US was slapping new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies accused of aiding North Korea — and a day later, President Trump canceled them.
“It was announced today by the US Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Trump wrote on Twitter, apparently misstating the timing of Treasury’s announcement.
“I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!”
Asked to explain Trump’s reversal of his own government’s policy, spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered a simple reply.
“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” she said, referring to the rogue regime’s brutal dictator.
The two Chinese companies were accused of helping North Korea duck sanctions currently in place.
The administration is trying to negotiate a trade deal with China, but it was unclear if those talks played a role.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Thursday offered the government’s rationale for the sanctions.
“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” Mnuchin said.