US reportedly backs off new North Korea sanctions as talks about a future summit progress

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets a member of the special delegation of South Korea's President on March 6, 2018.

caption
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets a member of the special delegation of South Korea’s President on March 6, 2018.
source
KCNA/via Reuters

  • The US has pushed back additional sanctions against North Korea as the countries continue talking about a summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
  • Talks of reviving the planned summit seem back on track, with US officials meeting North Korean counterparts in the DMZ this week.
  • The Treasury Department reportedly prepared a sanctions package which would target nearly 30 entities, including those in Russia and China.
  • Trump favors a “maximum pressure” policy on North Korea, and US and UN sanctions have successfully curbed its foreign funding.

The US has decided to push back additional planned sanctions against North Korea as the countries progress on talks of a future summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

US officials told the Wall Street Journal that the US was prepared to announce increased sanctions against North Korea but decided to delay the action indefinitely while talks with North Korea continue.

Last week President Donald Trump abruptly pulled out of a meeting with Kim Jong Un scheduled for June 12, citing “tremendous anger and hostility” on the North Korean side. Talks of reviving the planned summit seem back on track, as US officials continue to meet with North Korean counterparts at the DMZ this week.

The Treasury Department has prepared a sanctions package which would target nearly 30 entities, including those in Russia and China, officials told the Journal. The sanctions, which were set to be announced this week, have been put on hold so long as talks concerning the summit move forward.

The US, along with the UN, has imposed numerous large-scale sanctions on North Korea, cutting off much of its foreign income. The UN bans exports of North Korean coal, iron, seafood, and textiles, and limit imports of crude oil.

Estimates say nearly half of North Korean transactions are made in foreign currency, commonly the Chinese yuan. But China, one of North Korea’s largest trade partners, drastically reduced its imports from North Korea this year, according to the Associated Press.

Trump has long emphasized the US commitment to a “maximum pressure” policy on North Korea in order to prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons. South Korea even credited Trump’s hardline policy for helping bring Kim to the negotiating table last month, a claim which North Korea angrily refuted.