Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that President Donald Trump chose to reverse sanctions targeting North Korea just a day after the U.S. Treasury implemented them because he “likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary.”
The Treasury had ordered sanctions against two Chinese shipping companies Thursday, alleging they had been helping North Korea evade sanctions meant to push Kim to denuclearize his country. National Security Adviser John Bolton praised the decision, but a day later Trump revoked the sanctions via tweet.
Trump has long touted a good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, praising him despite his poor human rights record and claiming after their first meeting last year that the two “fell in love.” Their most recent summit in Vietnam collapsed after disagreements over sanctions, however, leading North Korea to begin rebuilding a long-range rocket site.
It’s uncertain how Trump plans to bring Kim to the table once more, but North Korea isn’t the only country on his mind. He also needs to be mindful of any moves against China, CNBC reports, as a trade deal has yet to be reached. The ongoing economic war with China is reportedly costing the U.S. $40 billion a year in lost exports.