Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

South Korea eyes lifting of some sanctions against North Korea

South Korea eyes lifting of some sanctions against North Korea

But Biegun never got to meet his likely North Korean counterpart, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui.

South Korea's unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon added Thursday that there has been "no detailed review" on lifting sanctions but said Seoul has taken measures for cross-border cooperation "in a flexible manner".

"At this point to argue for the abolition of the National Security Act is the equivalent of removing the legal support for national security and laying a highway for a North Korea communist revolution", the South Korean opposition said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have an audience with the Pope when he visits the Vatican from October 17 to 18.

The Trump administration maintains it's made good progress on getting North Korea to denuclearize despite no verifiable actions towards this taking place.

Rolls Royce, of course, is a British luxury auto maker, and North Korea remains under heavy United States sanctions that strictly forbid the sale of luxury goods to the country.

The Trump administration appears concerned that the two leaders are getting too friendly as it seeks to wring further concessions out of Kim - specifically, the irreversible dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

"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 U.S. ambassador to South Korea and North Korea negotiator under president George W. Bush, told Bloomberg Television. "They do nothing without our approval".

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has again made a mockery of the US's policy towards Pyongyang when meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this time with a new Rolls Royce Phantom.

"By lifting sanctions now, is the South Korean government saying it will dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons or help it keep them?" it said.

One wonders how Korean leaders are supposed to negotiate, given that it was Trump who canceled Pompeo's scheduled North Korean visit in August, pointing to a lack of progress.

Seoul shut down the Kaesong factory park in February 2016 in retaliation of a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch. "This has nothing to do with restarting the Kaesong factory park".

"I think it's a matter to be reviewed in comprehensive consideration of South-North relations", she said later in the face of immediate criticism.

Kang also admitted U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo had been "discontent" with a military agreement between with two Koreas, saying he was not briefed sufficiently.

Kang indicated that the government is considering the removal of the May 24 Measure largely as a symbolic step meant to help improve the Seoul-Pyongyang relations. North and South Korea sent a united team of athletes to compete in some sports at the Asian Games in August, after staging basketball matches in July between Team Peace and Team Prosperity, each mixing both countries' players. There has been occasional bloodshed ever since - the 2010 attack on the warship was followed months later by North Korean shelling of a South Korean border island that killed four and gutted homes. "As negotiations continue to improve ties between the South and North and achieve denuclearization, there's a need to flexibly review (lifting the measures) as long as it doesn't damage the larger framework of sanctions against the North". 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. "As there are many (bilateral) sanctions overlapping the United Nations ones, it won't necessarily mean the substantive lifting (of sanctions on the North)".

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