Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

North, South Korea and US-led UN Command discuss disarming border area

The North Korea issue returned after it emerged at the weekend Kim Jong-Un's regime might test another missile that could reach the US west coast World View North Korea’s Kim Jong-un Met Pompeo in a Rolls Royce Phantom Violating Sanctions AFP 13 Oct 2018
Melinda Barton | 17 October, 2018, 16:08

The dovish Moon has long favoured engagement with the North, which is subject to multiple UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. This drew a fierce reaction from other journalists, who accused the ministry of infringing media freedoms and discriminating against North Korea-born citizens.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and U.S. President Donald Trump pledged at a landmark summit in Singapore in June to work toward denuclearisation.

Still, there is widespread skepticism that North Korea will disarm.

While Pyongyang has stopped nuclear and missile tests this year, it failed to keep its promise to allow global inspections of its dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in May, stirring criticism that the move could be reversed.

South Korea's enthusiasm for engagement with its rival also appears to have created discomfort with the United States amid growing concerns that the North is lagging behind its supposed promise to denuclearize.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said it was meaningful that the Koreas are getting faster in reaching agreements as their diplomacy gains traction.

The JSA, also known as the truce village of Panmunjom, is the only spot along the tense, 250-kilometer (155-mile) frontier where troops from the two countries stand face to face.

They agreed to resume economic cooperation, including relinking railways and roads.

That accord includes the reinstatement of a joint military commission, the halting of military exercises, a no-fly zone near their border and the gradual removal of landmines and guard posts within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).

The United States has repeatedly insisted that sanctions will only be lifted after North Korea completely and verifiably dismantles its nuclear program.

Kang's remarks amounted to a rare confirmation of discord between Seoul and Washington, though the allies have said they remain in lockstep on North Korea.

The commentary made clear that sanctions relief would have to come for further action by North Korea on concessions related to denuclearization, including any potential action at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, which was hinted at in the September 19 inter-Korean declaration.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said that he expects to meet Kim for a second summit after the U.S. midterm elections on November 6. Kang was not specific, but her comments fueled speculation that Washington wasn't fully on board before Seoul signed the agreements.

"We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearisation", he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron (C-R), his wife Brigitte Macron (L) and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C-L) toast during a state dinner at the Elysee Presidential palace in Paris, on October 15.

Kim's grandfather, North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, visited Mongolia when it was still a Soviet state in 1988.

This was reported in the Ministry of defense of South Korea, reports RBC-Ukraine with reference to the Agency Yonhap.

The ministry says North Korea did not demand that Kim be excluded from covering the meeting.