The Latest: Trump reversing new sanctions on North Korea

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Protesters hold signs during a rally demanding the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace treaty near the U.S. embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 21, 2019. The Korean Peninsula remains in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. More than 20 protesters participated at a rally and also demanding the end the Korean War and to stop the sanction on North Korea. The letters read "Restarting operations at Kaesong industrial complex and Diamond Mountain resort." (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The Latest on the United States sanctions on North Korea (all times local):

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2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he is reversing his administration's decision to slap new sanctions on North Korea, ordering them withdrawn.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says Trump "likes Chairman Kim and he doesn't think these sanctions will be necessary."

Trump says in a tweet that, "It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea."

But he says, "I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!"

The White House did not immediately respond to questions about which sanctions Trump was referring to. His administration on Thursday sanctioned two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions — the first targeted actions taken against Pyongyang since Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) met in Hanoi last month.

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5:55 a.m.

The Trump administration is sanctioning two Chinese shipping companies suspected of helping North Korea evade sanctions.

Thursday's punitive action is the first taken against Pyongyang since nuclear negotiations with the U.S. in Hanoi last month ended without agreement.

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, says the maritime industry must do more to stop North Korea's illicit shipping practices. He said in a tweet that everyone should review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea's sanctions evasion.

The White House says the sanctions are evidence that the U.S. is maintaining its pressure on North Korea in an effort to coax Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear weapons program.