03/23/2019, 13.30
UNITED STATES – KOREA
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Trump stops new sanctions against North Korea

Trump’s decision sowed confusion in the media, which thought he referred to those imposed two days ago. White House spokesman says the US president “likes Chairman Kim". The North Korean leader will soon decide whether to continue the talks and maintain the moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.

Washington (AsiaNews/Agencies) – US President Donald Trump ordered a stop to new sanctions against North Korea, signalling his intention to continue denuclearisation talks with its ruler.

Trump was initially thought to be referring to sanctions the US Department of the Treasury imposed on two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping the North evade sanctions.

Citing government sources, US media later clarified that Trump was referring to future sanctions, planned for the next few days.

The announcement comes at a time when the negotiations to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme are at a standstill after the failure of the Hanoi summit between US President Donald J. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that "President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary."

During the second Kim-Trump summit, the US did not accept what North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho called "realistic proposals", such as the complete decommissioning of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre, as well as an end to nuclear bomb and long-range missile testing.

In exchange, North Korea wanted the US to “removes partial sanctions, the articles of sanctions that hamper the economy and the livelihood of our people,” Ri said.

Last week, North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui threatened to abandon the negotiations, saying that North Korea had no intention to give in to Washington's "gangster-like" demands.

She also said Kim would decide soon whether to pursue talks and maintain his moratorium on nuclear and missile tests.

Hours after the sanctions were announced Thursday, North Korea pulled its officials from an inter-Korean liaison office in its border city of Kaesong. The latter had opened last year.

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