Trump says S. Korea won't lift NK sanctions without United States approval

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Trump says S. Korea won't lift NK sanctions without United States approval

Tensions between North Korea and China, long-standing allies, have increased in recent years as China endorsed and implemented U.N. Security Council sanctions that squeezed the North Korean economy.

Kim suggested that he will invite a USA inspection team to verify the explosion that the North said disabled its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in May.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had said on Wednesday that Seoul was considering lifting measures applied after a deadly attack in 2010.

The Koreas' decision to locate their liaison office in Kaesong, and also the large number of CEOs accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang last month, indicate that Seoul is preparing to restart inter-Korean economic projects if nuclear diplomacy begins yielding results. "They won't do it without our approval".

That presidential broadside may appear to stamp upon Seoul's sovereignty. She cited the intent to create more diplomatic momentum with the North, but Trump reacted by saying Seoul could "do nothing" without Washington's approval. The trip never materialised, however, reportedly because the Vatican insisted at the time that the Pope would only visit if Catholic priests were permitted to worship in the North.

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

However, there are growing calls for easing sanctions.

A speech by DPRK foreign minister Ri Yong Ho at the United Nations in September framed sanctions as a barrier to bilateral progress and as an example of US efforts to coerce the DPRK. "A review is underway", she said in the National Assembly, according to Yonhap newswire. "As there are many (bilateral) sanctions overlapping the United Nations ones, it won't necessarily mean the substantive lifting (of sanctions on the North)".

The South Korean foreign ministry also officially denied that the government was reviewing the matter.

The sanctions ban all North Korean ships entering South Korean ports and cut off most inter-Korean exchanges, including tourism, trade and aid. These projects have been held back by the sanctions against North Korea.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Thursday removing the sanctions has not been seriously considered and would be hard to do unless North Korea acknowledges responsibility for the 2010 attack.

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

South Korea's foreign minister says U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed displeasure over an agreement reached between the rival Koreas last month to reduce conventional military threats between them.

US President Donald Trump said he didn't expect to meet Kim Jong Un until after US elections in November, as the administration struggles to secure denuclearization commitments from North Korea.

The North Korean leader is an avid basketball fan and Rodman, 57, who first visited the country in 2013, has been a regular guest, famously singing "happy birthday" to Mr...

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.

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