24 March, 2019
No agreement on the denuclearization of North Korea, which the U.S. has demanded, was reached at that summit, and Trump's order to hold off on additional sanctions marks a departure from his administration's messaging a day earlier.
President Trump's unusual move comes after his second summit with Kim, held last month in Hanoi, Vietnam.
With negotiations apparently stalled, some experts said the surprise action will only undercut the USA stance, which calls for applying maximum pressure on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons and missile program.
Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, says the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea's illicit shipping practices. "Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea's sanctions evasion", Bolton tweeted.
Trump was initially thought to be referring to sanctions the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed Thursday on two Chinese shipping companies accused of helping the North evade sanctions. -North Korea relations had begun to sour.
The Treasury said Dalian Haibo was targeted for dealings with Paeksol Trading Corp, a company previously designated by US sanctions on North Korea. The other, Liaoning Danxing International Forwarding Co. North Korea has called South Korea "cowardly" for cooperating with US sanctions, according to its propaganda website, Uriminzokkiri. But hours after the tweet, reports emerged that he was citing a new set of broader sanctions that the Treasury Department had not yet announced.
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that tough action from the global community must continue for Kim to willingly give up his nuclear weapons.
In the announcement, North Korea said that it "will not mind the South remaining in the office" and it will "notify further practical matters in the future".
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday: "We are making it explicitly clear that shipping companies employing deceptive tactics to mask illicit trade with North Korea expose themselves to great risk".
North Korea has demonstrated its frustration with the outcome of the summit.
North Korea said it was quitting the joint liaison office set up in September in the border city of Kaesong after a historic summit between Kim and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in early previous year.
North Korea said it was withdrawing its staff under instructions from unspecified "higher-level authorities", according to a Unification Ministry statement.
The government in Seoul called the move "regrettable", and urged the North to return soon.