US President Donald Trump says he has ordered the withdrawal of recently imposed sanctions against North Korea.
In a tweet on Friday, Mr Trump referred to “additional large-scale sanctions” by the US Treasury that had been added to already existing restrictions.
It was not immediately clear which measures he was referring to.
However on Thursday, the US Treasury blacklisted two China-based shipping companies for reportedly violating sanctions against North Korea.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton described the treasury sanctions at the time as “important”.
In a tweet, he wrote that “the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea’s illicit shipping practices”.
The US Treasury said it had acted because the companies had helped North Korea to evade international and US sanctions by engaging in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers or exporting North Korean coal.
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Just hours after the announcement, North Korea withdrew from the inter-Korean liaison office. It is not known if the two events are connected.
The liaison office, located in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, had allowed officials from North and South Korea to communicate on a regular basis for the first time since the Korean War.
The North Korean pullout followed a failed summit between President Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month.
What did President Trump say?
In a tweet on Friday, Mr Trump wrote: “It was announced today by the US 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!”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders did not elaborate on which sanctions were being referred to by the president.
However, she added: “President Trump likes Chairman Kim [Jong-un] and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
North Korea has been the subject of a series of US and international sanctions over Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and missile tests.
Trump cancels new North Korea sanctions