Korea Walks Back Possibly Removing Sanctions Against N. Korea

Charlene Craig
October 12, 2018

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had said on Wednesday that Seoul was considering lifting measures applied after a deadly attack in 2010 that killed 46 South Korean sailors.

"No matter the substantive disagreement between the two sides, I think Seoul and Washington will move quickly to paper over his comments and maintain a facade of alignment", said Mintaro Oba, a former United States diplomat who worked on North Korea policy.

Trump was responding to a reporter's question about reports from Seoul that South Korea is considering lifting some sanctions against North Korea.

"If the pope goes there, it will be a very big step, a qualitative step for the Korean peninsula, for its pacification", said You, who was in Rome for a meeting of bishops from around the world known as a synod.

Trump has encouraged U.S. allies to maintain sanctions on North Korea until it denuclearises as part of what his administration has termed a campaign of "maximum pressure" against Kim Jong-Un's government.

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Former NBA star Yao Ming attended a friendly basketball match between China and North Korea in Pyongyang on Thursday (Oct 11) amid warming ties between the neighbours.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.

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.

Senior North Korean officials including sports minister Kim Il-guk and foreign affairs minister Ri Su-yong were also at the game. South Korea has blamed North Korea for the attack, which the North continues to deny.

More than 1,500 pieces of erroneous information about South Korea have been found in foreign textbooks, including a Croatian text saying the country speaks the Chinese language, a lawmaker said Friday.

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Criticism has mounted here over Trump's remarks, which critics have labeled "diplomatic discourtesy" in country-to-country relations and indicative of Washington's one-sided perception of US-South Korea alliance. "As there are many (bilateral) sanctions overlapping the United Nations ones, it won't necessarily mean the substantive lifting (of sanctions on the North)".

By showing up in a new Rolls Royce Kim managed to mock Pompeo and the Trump administration's attempts to isolate North Korea. 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. Other routes take more time and use more fuel.

While arguing that improved inter-Korean relations could possibly facilitate progress in larger nuclear negotiations between the USA and North Korea, Cho said Seoul isn't ready yet to campaign for reduced pressure against its rival.

The U.N. World Food Program said on Tuesday that the supply of food remained precarious in North Korea, where one in five children is stunted by malnutrition.

Cho refused to comment on Trump's remarks, but said Washington was not opposed to inter-Korean dialogue and exchanges, and the allies are in close consultation.

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