Rus­sia says UN should con­sider sanc­tions re­lief for N. Korea

The Korea Times - - FRONT PAGE -

UNITED NA­TIONS (AFP) — The U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil should con­sider steps to­ward lifting sanc­tions on North Korea fol­low­ing its agree­ment with the United States to scrap its nu­clear pro­gram, Rus­sia’s U.N. am­bas­sador said Wed­nes­day.

The coun­cil last year adopted three rounds of tough eco­nomic sanc­tions on North Korea, ban­ning most of its ex­ports of raw com­modi­ties and se­verely re­strict­ing oil sup­plies.

Asked about lifting sanc­tions, Rus­sian Am­bas­sador Vass­ily Neben­zia told re­porters: “I think that it is only nat­u­ral that we should be think­ing about steps in that di­rec­tion.”

“There is progress on the track that should be re­cip­ro­cal. There should be a two-way street,” he said. “Of course the other side should see en­cour­age­ment to go for­ward.”

At the first-ever meet­ing be­tween sit­ting lead­ers of the U.S. and North Korea in Sin­ga­pore, Tues­day, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Kim Jong-un pledged in a joint state­ment to work to­ward the “com­plete de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula.”

The United States along with Ja­pan and Euro­pean coun­tries main­tain that the raft of tough sanc­tions must re­main in place un­til North Korea has fully dis­man­tled its weapons pro­grams.

Rus­sia and China ar­gue that there should be a grad­ual ap­proach, offering some sanc­tions re­lief in ex­change for con­crete ac­tion from Pyongyang along the path to­ward de­nu­cle­ariza­tion.

The coun­cil is ex­pected to meet to dis­cuss the re­sults of the Sin­ga­pore sum­mit, but Neben­zia, who holds the coun­cil presidency this month, said noth­ing had been sched­uled yet.

“It would be in­ter­est­ing to hear from those who were directly in­volved their as­sess­ment of the re­sults,” said the Rus­sian am­bas­sador.

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