N Korea wants sanctions eased to restart US talks: S Korea

Seoul: North Korea wants international sanctions banning its metal exports and imports of refined fuel and other necessities lifted before it restarts denuclearisation talks with the United States, South Korean lawmakers said.

Pyongyang has also demanded the easing of sanctions on imports of luxury goods, including fine liquors and suits, the lawmakers said after being briefed by Park Jie-won, head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS).

The briefing came a week after the two Koreas restored hotlines that North Korea suspended a year ago, the first hint in months that North Korea might be more responsive to engagement efforts.

Washington has given no indication of a willingness to ease sanctions ahead of any talks.

The United Nations has imposed a wide range of sanctions on North Korea over its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The United States and others have also imposed their own sanctions.

North Korea has not tested a nuclear weapon or an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017 and a historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and the former US President Donald Trump in 2018 raised hopes for a diplomatic breakthrough.

Trump had two subsequent meetings with Kim but made no progress in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for sanctions relief.

Image courtesy of (Photo: brookings.edu)

Share this post