South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration of President Moon Jae-in is considering proposals to lift sanctions against North Korea as a reward for improved relations on the peninsula. Such a move could put Moon at odds with the United States, which wishes to keep all sanctions in place until North Korea takes irreversible and verifiable steps toward denuclearization.Yonhap News reported on Wednesday the sanctions in question were imposed after North Korea torpedoed the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010, killing dozens of South Korean sailors and precipitating one of the worst diplomatic crises since the Korean War armistice in 1953. The Cheonan sanctions were exceptionally tough, predating comparably severe U.N. sanctions against North Korea’s nuclear program by several years. Foreign Minister Kang noted there are many other South Korean sanctions overlapping the U.N. measures, so lifting the Cheonan sanctions would not necessarily weaken the overall punitive environment against North Korea to a “substantive” degree. Kang also said there is no imminent “pan-governmental” decision about lifting sanctions on the table. “There’s a need to review it with resilience in the level of not damaging the framework of sanctions on North Korea on the basis that… Read full this story
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