US Mulling 18-Month Sanctions Relief on North Korea

Clay Curtis
July 13, 2019

Kim and Trump met on June 30 at the truce village of Panmunjom and agreed to hold working-level nuclear talks within a few weeks.

"You have a man that was so happy to see me".

The paper said that establishing new relations between the North and the USA and building lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula is anything but a "gift" to Pyongyang, adding Washington should do its own part, such as by making efforts to remove its nuclear threats against the North.

The Hwasong-14, another North Korean ICBM tested in mid-2017, was also mentioned in the report, and said to be capable of reaching "most" of the United States mainland, given its 10,000km+ (6250 mile) range. North Korea's state media described their meeting as "an unbelievable event". This set the stage for critical tensions between the two men that have largely abated since Kim made a decision to launch peace talks early previous year and succeeded in pushing for the debut U.S.

Afterward, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that working-level discussions between North Korea and the United States would resume "around the middle" of July, although no further details have been announced.

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"So while we don't preview any sort of sanctions from the podium, whether it's adding new ones or taking them away, I will say that I did actually speak to [White House North Korea envoy] Steve Biegun about that, and he categorically denied that". Hopes for a breakthrough surrounded their second meeting in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in February, but Trump walked out early, with both sides blaming one another.

"It's my honor", Trump responded before asking if he could cross the border, to which Kim readily accepted.

Being head of state would make Kim a protocol equal to President Donald Trump, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping in any summits and treaty talks.

An anonymous source has told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency that when talks begin, the White House will propose a plan to lift some sanctions for 12 to 18 months in exchange for North Korea's shutting down the Yongbyon nuclear facility. They are keen to see a freeze in this production too. Questioned on the veracity of the report, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Tuesday that such a move "would never be the end of a process", but "would be at the beginning". In exchange, leader Kim Jong Un would be expected to dismantle his main nuclear complex at Yongbyon and halt his entire weapons program, the news agency from South Korea said.

The statement said the United States and 23 other countries sent a letter to the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions on North Korea demanding urgent action 'under the absurd pretext of "excess in the amount of refined petroleum imported"'.

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