South Korea eyes lifting of some sanctions against North Korea

Hugh Fox
October 12, 2018

North Korea is the prime suspect, but has denied the accusations.

Kang replied "Yes" on Wednesday when a lawmaker asked her whether a Japanese media report was correct that Pompeo had complained strongly about the agreement, which was announced during a summit between the Koreas in Pyongyang last month.

Jeon Ok-hyun, chairman of the committee, said talk of reviewing the law is premature because of North Korea policy.

South Korea has walked back on a proposal to lift some of its unilateral sanctions against North Korea following President Donald Trump's blunt response.

Pompeo was reportedly promised a meeting with Kim in July, but no such meeting took place.

During Moon's visit to North Korea last month, he and Kim agreed to normalize operations at the Kaesong factory park and resume joint tours to North Korea when possible, voicing optimism that global sanctions could end and allow such projects.

But Kim had just stepped out of a new looking Rolls Royce Phantom.

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"North Korea could enter the world community as a normal country".

During the summit in June, Kim was seen in a Mercedes-Maybach Pullman Guard armoured limousine flanked by security running alongside on foot. Kim held an unprecedented summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, and pledged to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Washington has consistently stressed that sanctions will be remain in place until North Korea relinquishes its nuclear arsenal, with the State Department on Monday insisting that the USA and China were "unified" on the pressure campaign against the DPRK.

The eight-time National Basketball Association all-star is visiting the North Korean capital this week as part of a high-level Chinese sports delegation.

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

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A few days after the inter-Korean summit, Gen. Robert Abrams, the next commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, told the Senate Committee on Armed Services that all activities in the DMZ are under the jurisdiction of the UN Command, which the USFK commander also heads.

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Despite the current mood of detente and negotiation between the Koreas, the removal of sanctions would be a hard decision for Seoul's government.

South Korea then effectively shut down all cross-border economic cooperation except for a jointly run factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, which was shuttered in February 2016 after a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. She also described Seoul's unilateral sanctions as a key obstacle to restarting South Korean tourism to the North's Diamond Mountain resort, which was suspended in 2008 following the shooting death of a South Korean woman there. Still, the lifting of the 2010 sanctions could offer at least some tangible benefits to the North.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement there has yet to be a "full-fledged" review on the lifting of the May 24 measures.

As part of his delegation to Pyongyang, Pompeo brought along Stephen Biegun, his special representative to North Korea and the diplomat expected to take on more of the day-to-day negotiating with Kim's regime.

The Moon administration has sought exemptions from global sanctions against North Korea to push forward cross-border exchanges this year amid a rapprochement in inter-Korean relations. "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. "This has nothing to do with restarting the Kaesong factory park".

Some textbooks in Taiwan, Turkey, Israel, Uruguay and the United States marked the body of water between the Korean Peninsula and Japan as the Sea of Japan, not as the East Sea, while a Croatian text said Chinese is spoken in South Korea, according to the lawmaker.

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