South resumes supplying water in North Korean border town

Summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will be after US elections on November 6 Donald Trump

Summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un will be after US elections on November 6 Donald Trump

A move by South Korea to lift its unilateral sanctions would have little immediate effect since US -led global sanctions remain in place.

In a range of trial balloons released over the last week, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has raised the possibility of lifting bilateral sanctions against North Korea, while winning waivers on global sanctions. The South Korean government has backtracked on their talk of easing some sanctions on North Korea.

South Korea has considered lifting economic sanctions created to force North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons, drawing a swift rebuke from Donald Trump and exposing a rift in Seoul's alliance with Washington.

Later on Wednesday, Trump responded to Kang's comments, telling reporters, "They won't do it without our approval".

"Well, they won't do it without our approval".

In a statement released Wednesday by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a round of tripartite meetings in Moscow, the three ministers also expressed their support for ongoing talks between the DPRK and both the USA and South Korea.

"There has not been a detailed review on (the lifting of the May 24 measures)", Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a parliamentary audit of his ministry on Thursday.

"A review (of the issue) is under way" in consultation with other related government agencies, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said.

According to the watchdog group Open Doors USA, North Korea is consistently ranked the worst country in the world in regards to Christian persecution.

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South Korea imposed unilateral sanctions on the North in 2010 following an attack on a warship that killed 46 South Korean sailors, banning most bilateral trade and exchanges.

The Chinese delegation's visit to North Korea came as Beijing was widely seen as part of a bid to improve its relationship with Pyongyang. Kang was not specific but her comments are likely to fuel speculation Washington wasn't fully on board before Seoul signed the agreement.

This time, when Pompeo visited in early October, Kim did show up and the two appeared friendly as the leader arrived and shook Pompeo's hand.

The agreement calls for the creation of buffer zones along the Koreas' land and sea boundaries and a no-fly zone above the border to prevent accidental clashes.

Despite the current mood of detente and negotiation between the Koreas, the removal of sanctions would be a hard decision for Seoul's government. South Korea has blamed North Korea for the attack, which the North continues to deny.

But the removal of such sanctions wouldn't be enough to get the tours back on, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to Moon. "We have very big sanctions", Trump said. "As there are many (bilateral) sanctions overlapping the United Nations ones, it won't necessarily mean the substantive lifting (of sanctions on the North)".

"He seems to have repeated his basic position on sanctions on North Korea", rather than specifically on the May 24 Measures, he said.

Even so, for many people here whose mother language is not English, Trump's use of the word "approval" is controversial.

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