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Trump North Korea sanctions tweet sparks confusion

US President Donald Trump has not ordered the withdrawal of recently imposed sanctions against North Korea, administration officials say.

Mr Trump caused confusion on Friday when he tweeted that "additional large-scale sanctions" would be withdrawn.

It was thought he was referring to the treasury's move to blacklist two China-based shipping companies suspected of illegally trading with North Korea.

But officials later said he was referring to future sanctions.

Citing unnamed administration officials, US media reported that Mr Trump was in fact cancelling measures that had yet to be announced and were scheduled for the coming days.

It had been thought that his tweet was referring to sanctions announced by the Treasury on Thursday. Mr Trump sowed further confusion by referring to sanctions he said had been announced on Friday.

The confusion appeared to highlight differences within the Trump administration on how the US should approach relations with Pyongyang.

While the White House said the president felt the sanctions were unnecessary, National Security Adviser John Bolton said Thursday's treasury sanctions were "important".

In a tweet, he wrote that "the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea's illicit shipping practices".

Important actions today from ; 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.