South Korea walks back on possibly lifting sanctions on North

12 October, 2018, 06:13 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un hold a signing ceremony at the conclusion of their summit

She cited the intent to create more diplomatic momentum for talks over North Korea's nuclear program.

On Wednesday, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha announced that South Korea was considering lifting some of its sanctions on the Hermit Kingdom.

When Pompeo arrived in North Korea in July to follow up with Kim after President Donald Trump's historic summit in Singapore, Kim outright ditched the US's top diplomat.

"Well, they won't do it without our approval", Trump told reporters at the White House.

That presidential broadside may appear to stamp upon Seoul's sovereignty.

Moon has described inter-Korean engagement as crucial to resolving the nuclear standoff.

And while Trump huffs and puffs, Kang's moves may win approval elsewhere.

"The fact that they've had these meetings-both with secretary of state Pompeo and with President Trump-and have held back from a clear sign that they're moving forward, makes me kind of wonder", Christopher Hill, a former USA ambassador to South Korea and North Korea negotiator under president George W. Bush, told Bloomberg Television.

"He seems to have repeated his basic position on sanctions on North Korea", rather than specifically on the May 24 Measures, he said.

Speaking privately, however, a ministry official questioned if Trump had been aware of the overall context of Kang's comments. "It's an important executive order".

The so-called "May 24 measures" of 2010 also banned North Korea from using shipping lanes in South Korean territory.

The sanctions were emplaced in 2010, following the sinking of a South Korean corvette in the Yellow Sea, in what the South insists was a Northern torpedo attack.

Sanctions relief is thought to be among the corresponding measures North Korea has asked for from the United States in return for its dismantling of a major nuclear compound in Yongbyon.

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South Korea is backtracking on possibly removing sanctions against North Korea.

Moreover, in prior comments, Kang had also raised the possibility of exemptions from worldwide sanctions.

According to Moon's office, Kim told him last month during their meeting that Pope Francis would be "enthusiastically" welcomed into North Korea, despite the countries negative record with religious persecution.

"Last year, everybody was talking about war in the North".

Considerable exemptions would nearly certainly be necessary if the North and South are to carry out their flagship cross-border project: The re-linking of their rail nets.

But ties have recently improved as Kim met President Xi Jinping in China three times this year. The train had Seoul governmental officials on board, reportedly planning an exploratory mission in advance of the rail re-linking project.

"Kang flubs it", the conservative Joongang Daily editorialized.

"We haven't removed sanctions". "I'd love to remove them, but we have to get something for doing that".

But it seems unlikely that Kang flubbed it, one expert said. "I think that North Korea is ready to open up, renounce nuclear weapons and build a new country", he said.

Kang's remarks generated smiles in other quarters.

They said in a join communique that the council "should start in due time revising the sanctions against the DPRK".

China, Russia and North Korea believe it is necessary to consider adjusting United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang at an appropriate time, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday. "The National Security Act must remain in place". "Trump probably means something closer to "agreement" given friendly relations between the two sides, but the U.S. President doesn't always speak precisely", he said. Pompeo recently visited Kim in Pyongyang in an effort to set up another summit between him and Trump following months of friction in lower-level talks that saw North Korea accuse Washington of "gangster-like" demands on denuclearization.

Seoul then effectively shut down all cross-border economic cooperation except for a joint factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where business activities and investment were also scaled back.

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