US President Donald Trump claims to have withdrawn the penalties just granted North Korea arranged. "The US Treasury has announced today that additional substantial sanctions will be added to existing sanctions against North Korea," Trump tweeted. He had ordered to take her back.
It was initially unclear what measures were meant. The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two Chinese shipping companies on Thursday, one Thursday before Thursday, allegedly helping North Korea avoid international sanctions. Observers evaluated these sanctions also not as extensive – compared to the punitive measures that are otherwise in force against North Korea.
Whether Trump still meant this (indirect) punishment was unclear. The US Treasury initially did not respond to a request. Even Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said only, the US President may the North Korean rulers Kim Jong Un and do not think that "these sanctions" are necessary. The US television station CNN reported that even several employees of the White House had expressed surprise about the tweet and were unsure what that meant.
North Korea is withdrawing staff from inter-Korean Liaison Office
The sanctions announced on Thursday were the first penalties since the failed summit between Trump and North Korea's ruling leader Kim in Vietnam. North Korea then withdrew its staff from an inter-Korean liaison office north of the heavily-armed inner-Korean border. Representatives of North Korea had announced the move to a meeting in the office in the border town of Kaesong and justified them with instructions from "higher authorities," the Seoul Ministry of Education said. The step was "regrettable". The Liaison Office was only opened in September to improve diplomatic relations between South Korea and North Korea.
South Korean President Moon Jae In's office also said that its national security advisor Chung Eui Yong had convened a National Security Council emergency meeting to discuss North Korea's withdrawal. South Korea called on the North to send its staff back to the Liaison Office soon. The withdrawal of North Korea from the Liaison Office is likely to burden relations between the two countries and complicate international diplomacy over the North Korean nuclear program.