sunny.png
Saturday November 28th, 2020 5:58PM

S. Korean leader urges bolder steps from N. Korea and US

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged North Korea to take bolder disarmament measures that the United States should then reward, suggesting Thursday he wants harsh sanctions lifted so Seoul can eventually restart dormant economic cooperation projects with the North.

Some observers believe that any sanctions relief, if pursued before South Korea's ally Washington is ready, could weaken ties with the United States and complicate efforts to rid the North of its nuclear weapons. Others see the comments by Moon, a liberal who covets deep engagement with Pyongyang, as simply a symbolic bit of conciliation toward North Korea.

Moon spoke only days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a New Year's Day address that he was ready to resume two major stalled inter-Korean projects. Kim also said he'll be compelled to take a different path if the United States keeps pressing for unilateral sanctions against the North as well as maintaining broader U.N. sanctions.

The two projects are South Korean tours to the North's scenic Diamond Mountain and a jointly run factory complex in the North Korean border town of Kaesong. They were suspended in the past decade along with other similar projects amid the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program. The two projects were considered key sources of badly needed foreign currency for the impoverished North.

"My administration will cooperate with the international community, including the United States, to resolve the remaining issues such as international sanctions as soon as possible" to get the two projects restarted, Moon told a news conference.

Moon said resolving the issue of the North Korea sanctions hinges on how fast North Korea denuclearizes and whether it receives reciprocal measures from the United States. He said those would top the agenda in an expected second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump.

"North Korea knows it needs (to take) clear denuclearization steps to see international sanctions lifted and the United States also realizes that reciprocal measures are needed to match these North Korean denuclearization steps," Moon said.

Moon, who took office in 2017, has shuttled between North Korea and the United States to facilitate high-profile nuclear diplomacy that includes the first Kim-Trump summit in Singapore last June. Moon's overture, however, has invited criticism from conservatives in South Korea and the United States that he's making too many concessions and helping the North try to weaken U.S.-led sanctions. Trump has maintained that sanctions on North Korea will stay in place until it completely abandons its nuclear program.

As Moon spoke, Kim was heading back to Pyongyang after a two-day trip to his country's only major ally China that included a summit with President Xi Jinping. Chinese and North Korean state media reported earlier Thursday that Kim told Xi that he's committed to setting up a second summit with Trump to "achieve results" on the nuclear issue.

"In a word, Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to China is an indication that the second North Korea-U.S. summit is drawing near," Moon said.

Nuclear diplomacy has reported little headway since the Singapore summit, which ended with the North making a vaguely worded promise to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

The North, which previously used the term to request the removal of 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, said in December that it would never unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons unless the United States first removes what it calls an American nuclear threat. The North's Foreign Ministry statement further raised questions about whether the country is truly committed to denuclearization.

Moon, who met Kim three times last year, reiterated his previous stance that Kim won't link denuclearization to the U.S. military presence in South Korea. Moon also said Thursday that Kim told him that the denuclearization steps he was talking about were not different from what the international community wants.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Man in Australia arrested over asbestos consulate packages
Australian police have arrested a man after 38 packages allegedly containing asbestos were sent to foreign consulates in the cities of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney
1:29AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Congo says Felix Tshisekedi wins presidential poll
Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the winner of the long-delayed presidential election, in an announcement by the electoral commission that surprised many, as the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging
1:21AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Texas landowners prepare wall fight; Trump to visit border
Some property owners on the border in Texas are vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the federal government in court if it moves to seize their land to build a wall
1:20AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Congo declares Felix Tshisekedi winner of presidential poll
Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared winner of the long-delayed and controversial presidential election, in an announcement by the electoral commission that surprised many, as the vast country braced for possible protests
12:47AM ( 1 hour ago )
Kansas abortion foes brace for state Supreme Court decision
Abortion opponents have been bracing themselves for nearly two years for a ruling from Kansas' highest court that protects abortion rights
12:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
The shutdown today: President heads to the southern border
The shutdown today: President heads to the southern border
12:19AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
US apparel firm cuts off Chinese factory in internment camp
US apparel importer that stocks college bookstores with team logowear cuts off Chinese factory with workers drawn from an internment camp
11:44PM ( 2 hours ago )
Asian markets settle after rallying on US-China trade hopes
Asian markets slip as U.S. and Chinese officials conclude three days of talks without significant breakthroughs
11:18PM ( 2 hours ago )
Congo opposition leader Tshisekedi named presidential winner
Congo says opposition leader Tshisekedi wins presidential election but questions remain
11:10PM ( 2 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Venezuela's Maduro to celebrate 2nd term as crisis deepens
President Nicolas Maduro will be sworn-in for a second, six-year term amid widespread international repudiation that his increasingly authoritarian rule has stripped Venezuela of its last vestiges of democracy
12:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
SKorea wants sanction exemptions to restart NKorea projects
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has urged North Korea to take firmer disarmament measures and the U.S. to reward them
10:34PM ( 3 hours ago )
US-China trade talks wrap up, with outcome unclear
US-China trade talks wrap up without clear word on progress; Asian markets fall back
10:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Man in Australia arrested over asbestos consulate packages
Australian police have arrested a man after 38 packages allegedly containing asbestos were sent to foreign consulates in the cities of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney
1:29AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Congo says Felix Tshisekedi wins presidential poll
Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has been declared the winner of the long-delayed presidential election, in an announcement by the electoral commission that surprised many, as the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging
1:21AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Texas landowners prepare wall fight; Trump to visit border
Some property owners on the border in Texas are vowing to reject buyout offers and preparing to fight the federal government in court if it moves to seize their land to build a wall
1:20AM ( 39 minutes ago )
California's top lawyer offers look inside Trump offensive
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has taken on the Trump administration in 45 lawsuits, says he looks to defend issues he championed as a 12-term Congressman and listens to what the president says to prepare for future litigation.
1:19AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Kuzma's career-high 41 leads Lakers over Pistons 113-100
Kyle Kuzma scored a career-high 41 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons 113-100 to improve to 3-5 without injured LeBron James
1:15AM ( 44 minutes ago )