01/14/2020, 09.23
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Moon: Inter-Korean plans key to lifting sanctions in the North

The South Korean president speaks at the New Year's press conference.  His government's push for cooperation with the North has made little progress because of sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.  But if the Kim Jong-un regime takes "substantial" steps towards denuclearization, the international community should enact corresponding measures.



Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Expanding cooperation between the two Koreas can encourage international support for the progressive withdrawal of some sanctions against Pyongyang, said South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the press conference earlier this year, in which he clarified that Seoul will not stand by while waiting for the talks between the North and the United States to bear fruit.

The president explained that if the Kim Jong-un regime takes "substantial" steps towards denuclearization, the international community should take corresponding measures, even withdrawing sanctions.  Moon reports that Washington and Pyongyang have reached an agreement in this regard, but the issue is the scope of sanctions to be eased or lifted and the preconditions for this to happen.

The South Korean leader claimed that his government's push for cooperation with the North made little progress, due to the sanctions of the United Nations Security Council.  However, there are some inter-Korean projects that are not subject to them, such as tours on Mount Kumgang on the north east coast which are currently suspended.  Moon has already made various proposals to improve relations between the two Koreas and create conditions for leader Kim Jong-un to visit the South.

The South Korean president also said that Washington must present "new ideas" if it wants to break the deadlock in denuclearization talks in close collaboration with Seoul;  but there is not much time left, as the presidential election of November 2020 is approaching in the United States. Answering a question about China, Moon said that Beijing's role is crucial for a resolution of the nuclear issue in North Korea.  The president asked for continued Chinese "help" until the complete denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of permanent peace.

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