President Trump said Friday he would reverse sanctions against North Korea that were recently announced by the Treasury Department, a surprise declaration that sparked confusion in Washington.
In a tweet, Trump wrote that “it was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions” would be imposed in addition to “already existing Sanctions on North Korea.” “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” the president added.
The Treasury Department on Thursday announced it was imposing new sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping North Korea evade existing sanctions.
But that announcement was not made within the timetable included in Trump’s tweet and the sanctions were not seen as major penalties against Pyongyang.
Regardless of the target, it was remarkable that Trump would publicly rebuke an effort by his own Treasury Department to sanction a major U.S. adversary.