President Donald Trump created confusion on Friday between his administration and aides after saying he will reverse recent sanctions on North Korea.

“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!” Tweeted Trump on Friday.

It was assumed that Trump was referring to the Treasury’s  black listing of two shipping companies that have helped North Korea evade sanctions, the most recent sanctions since last month’s failed diplomatic talks between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related U.N. Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement referring to the recent sanctions.

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“We were caught off guard and people are still trying to figure out what is going on,” said a White House administration official said, according to CNN.

“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a brief statement.


Following Sanders’ statement, officials familiar with Trump’s thinking said “the president was actually referring to additional North Korea sanctions that are under consideration but not yet formally issued,” according to The New York Times.

Trump’s tweet on North Korean sanctions comes just days after another major foreign policy decision announced over Twitter – the U.S recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, reversing a 52-year-old U.S foreign policy stance on the matter.

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