What Happened: U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter announcement to cancel U.S. Treasury Department sanctions on North Korea was referring to unpublicized new measures the department had been planning to announce this week, according to anonymous White House officials, The Washington Post reported March 22. In the meantime, a number of North Korean personnel have returned to the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong after a withdrawal last week.
Why It Matters: The president's decision to block new sanctions on North Korea serves to signal the value of his personal relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which may have also contributed to Pyongyang's decision to restore the liaison office personnel.
Background: Trump's tweet that he had canceled additional sanctions published by the Treasury Department that day, sparking widespread confusion as the most recent sanctions on March 21 were routine enforcement measures.
- U.S., North Korea: What to Make of Pyongyang's Satellite Site Activity (March 11, 2019)
- Why an Abrupt Finale to the Trump-Kim Summit Won't Kill Negotiations (Feb. 28, 2019)
- What to Expect as Trump and Kim Meet Again (Feb. 26, 2019)