Trump Reverses New North Korea Sanctions

Move raises questions of a split within the administration

Just one day after the Treasury Department announced new North Korea sanctions, centered on a pair of Chinese shipping companies, President Trump announced in a Tweet that he is ordering the withdrawal of those same sanctions.

The new sanctions were meant to be related to shipping companies buying North Korean coal in violation of US sanctions. The administration has yet to offer any clarity on why Trump overruled the Treasury Department on that matter.

A lot of the media is generally hostile to pursuing diplomacy with North Korea, and was quick to try to chalk this up as weakness on Trump’s part, and to suggest that his decision must have been arbitrary and not planned at all.

Yet that too is just a guess, because the administration is not very transparent on its decision-making process or its thinking behind such moves. It certainly is worth asking if this represents a split between Trump and the Treasury Department, however, or some broader disagreement into US-North Korea policy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.