Russian Federation raises North Korea sanctions at UN Security Council

Lester Mason
November 8, 2018

A meeting planned in NY on Thursday between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol was abruptly cancelled.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Thursday the North had suggested a postponement. "Through various communication channels between South Korea and the USA, we were aware of this in advance".

But some analysts say a last-minute cancellation - a familiar North Korean tactic - could be aimed at pressuring the United States to agree to a quick Trump-Kim summit because the North thinks it can win major concessions from Trump that lower-level USA officials might try to block. In August Pompeo cancelled a trip to North Korea after Trump said there was unlikely to be progress.

Kang said she is arranging a phone call with her U.S. counterpart, Pompeo. Stephen Biegun, US special representative for North Korea, discussed the issue during a phone call Wednesday with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon. The State Department said the talks would be rescheduled "when our respective schedules permit".

There is speculation that Pyongyang postponed the meeting after it became clear its envoy could not meet Trump due to the president's busy schedule.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha provided no reason, aside from "busy schedules", for why North Korea canceled the meeting set for Thursday in NY that was meant to discuss ridding the North of its nuclear weapons and setting up a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "I'd love to take the sanctions off, but they (North Korea) have to be responsive, too", Trump said on Wednesday. It's a two-way street. But we're not in any rush at all. "There's no rush whatsoever", he said. "But we are very happy how it is going with North Korea". But US officials have repeatedly said sanctions relief would only come after denuclearisation.

"We are going to make it. another day", he told reporters in Washington.

North Korea is getting increasingly upset with the USA for its refusal to offer sanctions relief and personal friction between United States and North Korean negotiators that may be slowing progress, CNN reported, citing a source familiar with the situation.

Seoul has worked hard to revive nuclear diplomacy between the USA and North Korea that has reduced war fears among South Koreans following a provocative run in North Korean weapons tests and Trump's threats of military action past year. Washington says the sanctions will remain until North Korea takes concrete steps toward irreversibly and verifiably relinquishing its nuclear weapons.

The president pointed to the return of three American citizens formerly detained in Pyongyang, as well as the remains of United States servicemen from the Korean...

The figure comes as Seoul and Washington follow increasingly divergent approaches to Pyongyang, with the South pursuing engagement while the United States insists pressure on it should be maintained until it denuclearises.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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