South Korea considers lifting some sanctions on North Korea

South Korea considers lifting some sanctions on North Korea

U.S. secretary of state Michael Pompeo came away from meetings Sunday in North Korea without a date for another meeting or news on when key denuclearization milestones might take place.

By showing up in a new Rolls Royce Kim managed to mock Pompeo and the Trump administration's attempts to isolate North Korea.

While some in the United States administration have indicated that denuclearization could be completed within the lifespan of the Trump administration, some experts say it could take more than a decade - assuming it is faithfully implemented, which many doubt.

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. "South Korean military readiness, but there were apparently no discussions in advance between the two sides", the source said.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump, when asked whether South Korea would lift sanctions, said: "They won't do it without our approval".

The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced on Tuesday that Pope Francis will be invited to Pyongyang, North Korea to meet with Dictator Kim Jong Un.

The denuclearization process, which looked so promising when Kim and Trump met in Singapore in June, is now looking stillborn.

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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South Korea still hopes to press ahead with improving ties with its neighbour, Oba said, and Moon "will continue to test the envelope but avoid any actions he thinks will cause open tensions with the United States".

"The government should first appeal to the bereaved families for their understanding", Rep. Chung Jin-seok of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, said. An editorial titled "Kang flubs it" described her comments as "shortsighted" and said the paper was "dumbfounded" by her remarks.

But the removal of such sanctions wouldn't be enough to get the tours back on, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. Still, the lifting of the 2010 sanctions could offer at least some tangible benefits to the North.

"Noting the important steps taken by the DPRK in the direction of denuclearization, the parties considered it necessary to start a timely review by the UN Security Council of the sanctions measures against the DPRK", the Joint Information Communiqué on Tripartite Consultations said.

"For North Korea, the most meaningful result from the lifting of the May 24 measures would be that its ships will be able to travel through Jeju Strait again", said Koh, referring to waters between South Korea's mainland and the southern island of Jeju. Other routes take more time and use more fuel.

"There are also humanitarian considerations as the residents of Kaesong have to rely on the park's facility for water", Baik said. The decision had also deprived Kaesong residents of what had been a steady supply of water and electricity.

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.

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