US calls UN meeting on undermining North Korea sanctions

Officials from North and South Korea attend the opening ceremony of the inter Korean governmental liaison office in Kaesong North Korea on Friday

Officials from North and South Korea attend the opening ceremony of the inter Korean governmental liaison office in Kaesong North Korea on Friday

The two Koreas have opened a "liaison office" that will allow them to communicate on a regular basis for the first time since the Korean War.

"North Korea should abolish its nuclear programs, and the United States should foster such conditions with corresponding action, said Moon".

Ri said the liaison office would "greatly contribute to improving inter-Korean relations and opening up a new era of peace and prosperity", while also urging the South to "accelerate the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration".

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is expected to fly to Pyongyang for the first time next week in the hopes of accelerating worldwide efforts to denuclearize North Korea.

But Moon's desire to advance ties with the North despite little progress on denuclearisation has raised alarm bells in Washington, with USA officials worrying it could weaken Pyongyang's resolve to disarm. -North Korea talks back on track.

For Friday's meeting, Kim Sang-gyun, a National Intelligence Service senior official who visited Pyongyang on September 5, led the South Korean delegation to the working-level talks.

Compared to the first summits in April and May, where the mere fact of Kim and Moon's meeting mattered, the two are now under pressure to deliver substantive progress.

IMG_3022
The Kaesong Industrial Complex in 2013

The four-storey building includes separate Northern and Southern offices and a joint conference room, and Seoul's unification ministry said it would become a "round-the-clock consultation and communication channel" for advancing inter-Korean relations, improving ties between the USA and the North, and easing military tensions.

But the North for decades has been pushing a concept of denuclearization that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development until the United States removes its troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan. During the war, it was used for truce negotiations, so escaped the bombing which leveled most of North Korea. According to a diplomatic source he planned to meet with South Korea's chief nuclear envoy Lee Do-hoon to discuss the talks on North Korea he held in Beijing and Tokyo.

USA officials say they have already made their own conciliatory gestures, including halting joint military exercises with South Korea. -South Korea summit in May.

Trump thanked Kim on Twitter, saying, "This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea".

Background: The office was a key pledge at the summit between Seoul and Pyongyang in April.

Chung conveyed similarly promising comments from Kim after a previous visit in March, when South Korean officials shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to set up the Trump-Kim meeting.

"The import of North Korean coal already demonstrates that South Korea has not vigorously imposed U.N/U.S. sanctions", said Bruce Bennett, a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California.

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