Saturday, 19 January, 2019

US, South Korea Resume Low-Key Military Drills Monday

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's number two plan to meet in New York to discuss a possible second summit seen here in US, South Korea Resume Low-Key Military Drills Monday
Melinda Barton | 07 November, 2018, 18:27

As a latest sign of increasing frustration, the North's foreign ministry issued a statement on Friday threatening to resume building nuclear weapons unless United States ends sanctions against Pyongyang.

Still, it accused Washington of derailing commitments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump at their June summit in Singapore to work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.

At their meeting in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a vaguely worded statement on denuclearisation but little progress has been made since.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set to visit Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin later in November, the South Korean Ambassador to Russia said on Monday.

But Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has since said that the US has "no plans" to hold back on future drills. Pompeo, interviewed on television's "Fox News Sunday", said the Trump administration wants a full, verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, adding that Trump insisted on "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective".

Military officials in Washington and Seoul are launching a wide-scale review of all future large-scale military drills between the two allies, with plans to lock in a finalized exercise schedule for the coming year, South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo told reporters at the Pentagon last Wednesday.

Pompeo told a US CBS television program on Sunday that he would go to NY at the end of this week for the meeting. He also declared that the North would stop nuclear and long-range missile tests. "There've been no nuclear tests, We've had the returns of American remains (from the Korean War of the early 1950s). These are all good steps".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's continuing efforts to engage with North Korea have fanned US concerns that Seoul could weaken pressure on North Korea to give up nuclear weapons.

"Watch what we do".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said here Sunday that he will meet with a high-ranking official from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at the end of this week.

The North was said to have replied it would "positively review" the proposals and added it hoped South Korean conservative lawmakers will visit the North to directly talk with them while "seeing the reality".

Report: Under the renewed US sanctions, countries found to be buying crude oil or other commodities from Iran may lose access to the USA financial system and the right to do business with American entities.

"We believe we should look for mechanisms that would allow us to continue developing cooperation with our partners, with Iran", Mr. Novak said in an interview with the Financial Times. "We do not recognize the sanctions introduced unilaterally without the United Nations, we consider those methods illegal per se", he said.

"On the days they felt like it, market guards or police officials could ask me to follow them to an empty room outside the market, or some other place they'd pick", where they forced sexual encounters, she said. "There's a fine line [but] I could get them down to zero if I wanted to", Mr. Trump said.