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

11 October 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has again made a mockery of the U.S. policy towards Pyongyang when meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this time in decidedly flashy style.

"The fact that Kim drove such a luxurious auto to meet with Pompeo could be construed as a bit of a slap in the face to the top US diplomat, as the Trump administration has insisted that the worldwide community must strictly enforce the United Nations sanctions levied against North Korea until Pyongyang denuclearizes".

Kang said "a review is under way" when asked about the measures that prohibit nearly all inter-Korean exchanges outside of humanitarian assistance.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sat down in Singapore in June for the first-ever summit between the two countries.

"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.

Kim Il Guk, North Korea's minister of Physical Culture and Sports, said that Tuesday's game would "contribute to deepening the friendship and solidarity" between Beijing and Pyongyang, according to a North Korean state media.

Last time Pompeo went to North Korea, Kim ditched him and instead toured a potato farm.

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

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The North Korean leader also said that he will not submit a report of nuclear weapons to the US, in exchange for announcing the end of the Korean War, the source said.

Kang's comments drew an angry reaction from conservative opposition lawmakers. Kang's ministry later tried to downplay her comments, saying in a statement that no decision was imminent.

South Korea's foreign minister said that Seoul is considering lifting some of its unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang to create more momentum for diplomacy aimed at improving relations and defusing the nuclear crisis.

"There are also humanitarian considerations as the residents of Kaesong have to rely on the park's facility for water", Baik said.

Seoul shut down the Kaesong factory park in February 2016 in retaliation of a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

Despite some cross-border exchanges this year, the main elements of the sanctions, such as a ban on trade and investment, remain valid, overlapping with the UN-led punishments of Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile programmes.

The opening of the liaison office last month was part of a series of moves by the Koreas to reduce tensions amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North.

South Korea is providing electricity to the liaison office, but Seoul has not said if the town's residents had South Korean-supplied power again as well.

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