US pondering partial sanctions relief to North Korea in return of nuclear freeze: White House

increasing differences between US and North Korea
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Seoul, July 12: The United States was considering to halt some sanctions imposed on North Korea for around 12-18 months in return of nuclear freeze and the complete dismantling of its nuclear programme and weapons, a source close to the White House has said on Thursday.

According to ANI news reports, if the US plan went ahead, it would see the sanctions’ lifting from North Korea’s exports of coal and textiles – considered as a major income source for the reclusive communist nation and that it may effort to take denuclearization negotiations back on track after the Hanoi summit failure.

The second historic summit was held between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un in Vietnam in February which abruptly failed to reach a consensus on denuclearization because of both leaders’ difference, as Kim stressed for sanctions relief, whereas Trump focused over Kim’s last year promise of full and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

A source told Yonhap news agency, “The White House, when working-level talks begin, wants to set the conditions whereby they can begin the process of North Korea’s denuclearization.”

The source also stressed the US sanctions relief could also be renewed if Pyongyang’s denuclearization progress “moves at a good pace”, but cautioned the re-imposition of curbs if N Korea doesn’t stand by its commitments.

The source said, “If it works the model could also be applied to facilities other than the main nuclear complex in Yongbyon and move in a step-by-step manner until the entire weapons of mass destruction program are fully closed and all sanctions are lifted.”

However, the source also warned the verification and inspection of the dismantling progress of Yongbyon nuclear space and the nuclear freeze could be tricky, adding a verified and detailed deal is needed regarding this.

Both South and North Korea are at technical war against each other as the spat ended in an armistice deal and not a legitimate permanent peace pact.

The source said, “The White House is open to many ideas to incentivize the North to make what they call a critical first step on denuclearization.”

It added their first aim in the meetings would be to prove Pyongyang that they can trust Washington and that the US also seeks to do something historic in order to ensure the hostile intent of the two sides are firmly in the past.

 

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