Washington decided to postpone a new round of sanctions which it was ready to impose on Pyongyang, as US President Donald Trump brought his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un back on the agenda, media reported on Monday.
On Thursday, the White House released Trump’s letter informing Kim that he was cancelling their meeting in Singapore scheduled for June 12. However, on Sunday, the US president said he still wanted to meet with Kim as was planned.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Washington was ready to impose a stricter sanctions regime on Tuesday, but decided to hold off the restrictions following Trump’s decision to revive his meeting with Kim.
The tensions on the Korean peninsula eased significantly in the beginning of the year, but the situation entered a new phase of uncertainty when the United States and South Korea resumed military drills which Pyongyang saw as a provocation and a threat. The exercise resulted in Kim’s cancelling ministerial level talks with Seoul, but the inter-Korean dialogue resumed on Saturday, when Moon and Kim met for the second time in the truce village of Panmunjom.
The United Nations and several individual states led by the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions on North Korea, following Pyongyang’s declaring itself a nuclear power in 2005 and withdrawing from the six-party talks on denuclearization four years later.