Offbeat: South Korea Backtracks on Easing Sanctions After Trump Comment - PressFrom - US

Offbeat South Korea Backtracks on Easing Sanctions After Trump Comment

17:05  11 october  2018
17:05  11 october  2018 Source:

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  Seoul: North Korea estimated to have 20-60 nuclear weapons South Korea says North Korea is estimated to have up to 60 nuclear weapons. The comment by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon was the first time a senior Seoul official publicly talked about the size of the North's secretive weapons arsenal.Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament Monday the estimates on the size of North Korea's nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to as many as 60. He was responding to a question by a lawmaker, saying the information came from the intelligence authorities. The National Intelligence Service, South Korea's main spy agency, couldn't immediately comment.

Trump ’s rejection of South Korea easing sanctions alone outlines the official position of the United States and South Korea that the two countries remain in lockstep on North Korea . Kang later walked back her comments after they sparked criticism from some conservative lawmakers, claiming North

South Korea never considered lifting sanctions against North Korea imposed over the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship, the country's Unification Minister Trump has said sanctions will remain in place until North Korea it denuclearizes. Kang backtracked on her remarks after facing criticism from

a group of people posing for the camera: President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, center, with President Trump in New York in September.© Tom Brenner for The New York Times President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, center, with President Trump in New York in September.

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea moved to patch up an emerging diplomatic row with the United States on Thursday, disowning any plan to lift sanctions against North Korea after President Trump’s blunt remark that Seoul could “do nothing” without Washington’s “approval.”

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea said on Wednesday that government agencies were discussing lifting a broad trade and investment embargo that Seoul imposed on the North in 2010, a statement that came despite Washington’s efforts to keep the economic noose on Pyongyang until it denuclearizes.

Pompeo backs away from denuclearization goal for North Korea

  Pompeo backs away from denuclearization goal for North Korea Secretary of State Mike Pompeo distanced himself Wednesday from a previously stated goal of getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons by the end of President Donald Trump's first term in January 2021Trump himself said last week that he doesn't want to get into a "time game" over how long it will take North Korea to denuclearize.

South Korea never considered lifting sanctions against North Korea imposed over the 2010 sinking Kang backtracked on her remarks after facing criticism from some conservative lawmakers that the Cho refused to comment on Trump ’s remarks, but said Washington was not opposed to inter- Korean

Pompeo briefs Japan and South Korea on Trump -Kim summit. Beijing has suggested international sanctions against Pyongyang could be eased , just hours after a historic summit Analysts generally agree that a series of stringent economic and financial sanctions against North Korea , led by the US

The minister’s comment alarmed conservative South Koreans, who accused the government of undermining their country’s alliance with the United States, which has led the effort to impose United Nations sanctions on North Korea.

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Ms. Kang’s remarks also risked antagonizing the Trump administration, which considers the sanctions its most potent leverage against the North. South Korea’s indication that it might break ranks came just as Washington was criticizing Beijing and Moscow for undermining sanctions enforcement.

“They won’t do it without our approval,” Mr. Trump said of the South Korean suggestion on Wednesday. “They do nothing without our approval.”

On Thursday, the South Korean minister for unification, Cho Myoung-gyon, walked back Ms. Kang’s comments, saying that “no detailed consideration” had been given to removing the sanctions.

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  South Koreans visiting Pyongyang for summit anniversary A South Korean government delegation has flown to North Korea to celebrate the anniversary of a 2007 inter-Korean summit and possibly hold further peace talks. Seoul's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said before departing that the visit will be an opportunity to strengthen "reconciliation, cooperation and peace" between the rivals.

SEOUL, South Korea — President Moon Jae-in of South Korea warned on Wednesday that North Korea would face stiffer sanctions if it resumed weapons tests, while crediting President Trump with helping force the North to resume dialogue and strike a broader agreement to improve Korean ties.

Some South Korean sanctions have already begun easing under Mr. Moon, including a ban on travel to North Korea . When he met last month with Mr. Kim in Pyongyang, the capital, the South agreed to discuss letting North Korean commercial ships use the South ’s shipping lanes again.

Mr. Cho also said that it would be hard to lift the sanctions unless North Korea apologized for the sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors in 2010. The sanctions were imposed in retaliation for that action, but North Korea has vehemently denied involvement.

As part of his successful presidential campaign last year, Moon Jae-in declared that South Korea should learn to say no to Washington, the country’s most important ally. He also questioned the usefulness of the Pentagon’s plan to deploy an antimissile defense system in South Korea and pushed back at Mr. Trump’s threat to launch a military attack on North Korea.

But since taking office, Mr. Moon has learned the wisdom of calming and even flattering Mr. Trump to get the American president on his side in pursuing warmer ties with North Korea.

He repeatedly praised Mr. Trump for bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table, crediting him for making the latest rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula possible. He eventually accepted the deployment of the Pentagon missile defense system, known as Thaad. South Korea also bowed to Mr. Trump’s pressure and revised a bilateral trade agreement.

Kim Jong Un appears to have a new Rolls Royce

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Trump unveiled the sanctions during a midday working lunch. New York (CNN) President Donald Trump announced an expansion of sanctions on North Korea Trump indicated ahead of talks with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts that China's leader Xi Jinping -- who was not present

Moon, of South Korea , praised Trump ’s hardline stance on Pyongyang, and his general assembly speech. “North Korea has continued to make provocations and this is South Korean leader says US-led sanctions and pressure on North Korea helped bring about first meeting in more than two years.

Mr. Trump’s comment on Wednesday did not go down well with many South Koreans.

“It is a diplomatically very coarse comment that can be seen as an infringement upon the sovereignty of another country,” the news agency Yonhap said in an editorial on Thursday. “It’s regrettable that such an insulting comment came between allies.”

A small group of progressive politicians and students rallied near the American Embassy in central Seoul on Thursday, denouncing a “gangsterlike” Mr. Trump for treating its ally like a “colony” and trying to impede progress in relations between the two Koreas. They held signs saying, “We don’t need American approval!”

“The dog barks, but the caravan moves on,” Lee Eun-hae, a spokeswoman at the minor progressive Minjung Party, said in a statement about Mr. Trump and closer relations with North Korea.

But Kim Moo-sung, a conservative legislator, said that Mr. Moon’s government had asked for an “insult” from the American allies by speaking “too much on North Korea’s behalf.”

Mr. Moon’s office did not comment on Mr. Trump’s remark, saying only that the allies closely coordinated their policies on North Korea. Washington also denies any rift with Seoul.

South Korea officially agrees with the United States that it should not improve ties with North Korea too fast without progress in the denuclearization of the North. But there have been subtle differences between the allies over the pace of inter-Korean engagement amid concerns in Washington that Pyongyang was not moving quickly enough to denuclearize.

Washington remains focused on enforcing sanctions, while Seoul wants to expand inter-Korean ties as an incentive for the North. South Korea has indicated that it wants to bolster economic and other exchanges with the North to the extent that they do not violate United Nations sanctions.

Australia assigns warship to enforce North Korean sanctions .
<p>Australia has assigned a guided missile frigate to the East China Sea to boast international efforts to enforce sanctions against North Korea, an Australian officer said on Friday.</p>Australian Defense Force Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshall Mel Hupfeld said the warship with a crew of 230 will be supported by two Australian AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft based in Japan.

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