In a strange announcement, Trump has publicly said he is reversing new sanctions announced by his own Treasury department against North Korea.
Here’s the tweet from Trump:
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2019
“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!”
I’m sure the Treasury department is wondering….what the heck?
According to The Hill, the sanctions may have been against a Chinese company helping North Korea avert the already imposed sanctions:
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.
In other words, Trump said these sanctions were announced today, but these North Korea/Chinese sanctions were announced yesterday. Trump also added the sanctions announced today were ‘large scale’, which sounds bigger than the sanctions against the Chinese company.
I checked the announcement page of the Treasury Department and the only sanctions announced today have to do with Iran, not North Korea. So at this point we’re not sure what exactly Trump is talking about.
Given the imprecise nature of some of Trump’s tweets, it’s possible that he is referring to the sanctions against the Chinese company, which would then raise questions as to whether this reversal has anything to do with his trade negotiations with China.
UPDATE: Well this is interesting…
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) March 22, 2019
Especially in light of yesterday’s announced sanctions regarding the Chinese company helping N. Korea avert our current sanctions, this sounds very strange to me.
If Kim doesn’t already respect our current sanctions, how is it that Trump can make such a statement? I just don’t get it.