World: Aid groups hopeful US will ease N.Korea restrictions - PressFrom - Australia

WorldAid groups hopeful US will ease N.Korea restrictions

04:10  11 january  2019
04:10  11 january  2019 Source:

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North Korea – United States relations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In exchange for substantial fuel aid , North Korea agreed to shut down the Yongbyon nuclear facility. In early June 2008, the United States agreed to start lifting restrictions after North Korea began the disarming

Calls for easing sanctions on North Korea also come from humanitarian groups , a move that could lead China, Russia and South Korea to pressure the United States , Ken Gause, director of the International US to N . Korea : We Will Maintain Maximum Pressure Until Complete Denuclearization.

Aid groups hopeful US will ease N.Korea restrictions© Provided by AFP North Koreans, whose country is facing "signficant humanitarian challenges" according to the UN, shout slogans in support of leader Kim Jong Un's New Year's address

Aid groups voiced optimism Thursday that the United States would ease restrictions on operations inside North Korea amid warming relations between Washington and the impoverished country.

Stephen Biegun, the US special representative on North Korea, met Wednesday in Washington with representatives of aid organizations, which have faced lengthy delays or prohibitions on providing assistance inside the totalitarian state.

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US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun said on Friday that the United States would not lift North Korea sanctions, but confirmed Washington's readiness to ease certain restrictions on Pyongyang in order to facilitate humanitarian assistance deliveries to the country.

North Korea didn't immediately respond to Biegun's comments. Talks between Washington and Pyongyang have been stalled for months, with the Fewer aid workers have been able to go to North Korea due to the U . S . ban on citizens traveling there. The U. N . children's aid agency UNICEF said in

The UN Security Council has imposed strict sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. While humanitarian groups can seek exemptions from a Security Council committee, the United States has often refused or delayed consideration of waivers.

Richard Blewitt, the permanent observer to the United Nations of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said that the meeting discussed humanitarian needs including food support, health and medicine.

Biegun "highlighted that the US recognized the significant humanitarian challenges in (North Korea) and the need by the US government and others to fully enable the humanitarian community to do their work," Blewitt told AFP.

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Aid has definitely helped bring North Koreans to the negotiating table at least twice over the past few decades. Although things have gotten somewhat “While we focus on a lot of nuclear and military developments in North Korea , the really serious problem is that people are dying from lack of food

International sanctions imposed over North Korea ’s nuclear weapons programs technically do not cover humanitarian activities, and the While exemptions are allowed for humanitarian aid , officials say they have faced delays of more than a year for even basic aid deliveries, as well as months

Mercy Corps, a US-based non-governmental group that was active in fighting hunger during North Korea's famine in the 1990s -- but halted operations in 2014 -- also voiced optimism and said a follow-up meeting was scheduled.

Biegun "made clear that Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo is committed to considering humanitarian workers' requests, in a timely fashion, to visit North Korea while also taking into account the State Department's concerns over the safety of Americans traveling there," said Mercy Corps spokesman Christopher Allbritton.

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Aid groups provide a range of services, including agricultural training and surgery, but are finding it impossible to enter North Korea because of new State Department restrictions . “Addressing the grave security challenge we face in North Korea while also trying to mitigate its longstanding

Inter- Korea meeting. Although North Korea has said it wants to “denuclearize” the peninsula He is also expected to call for the easing or lifting of international restrictions against the North . US Strike on Syria Sends Mixed Messages to North Korea . Aid Groups Send North Korea a Message, Aid in

The State Department declined to comment on the ongoing talks. But speaking to reporters last month in Seoul, Biegun signaled that the United States would be more lenient with aid workers on enforcing its blanket ban on US citizens' travel to North Korea.

President Donald Trump is keen to meet soon with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a sequel to their historic summit in June, as the United States seeks an agreement on ending Pyongyang's nuclear program.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday he believed the summit was "imminent" after Kim held talks in China, North Korea's primary ally.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said after a visit last year that there were "significant humanitarian challenges" in North Korea, with some 20 percent of children stunted by malnutrition, despite some progress in recent years.

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