South Korea says no change on North Korean sanctions

I'll roll out the red carpet for Pope in Pyongyang, says Kim Jong‑un

The Trump administration has credited its pressure campaign, involving tightened sanctions, with bringing North Korea to the negotiating table to discuss the dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program.

He added that Kim had said he was ready to allow global inspectors into North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear testing site and the Sohae missile engine test facility as soon as the United States and North Korea agreed on logistics.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk during a luncheon, in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 21, 2018.

Pompeo echoed Trump's comments when he spoke briefly to reporters during a Tuesday afternoon visit to the White House.

After interviewing dozens of defectors, the 2014 United Nations Commission of Inquiry concluded there was "an nearly complete denial of the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" in North Korea, while the US State Department's 2017 paper on religious freedoms in the North said the government exacts harsh punishments on those who insist on following their religion, including executions, torture, beatings and arrest.

"Sanctions are the very leverage we have to denuclearise the North", the editorial said. "I'm not seeing a lot of a time schedule, I'm just seeing, you know, sort of a vague commitment at this point". On Tuesday, Trump said that he was planning a second summit with Kim for the near future.

She suggested that United States demands for a full disclosure of North Korean nuclear assets - which Pyongyang has balked at providing - is a poor path to follow, citing how the last time a similar process took place, it disintegrated in 2008 over the issue of related verification protocols. Prior to that meeting, other sites reportedly under consideration were Geneva and Stockholm. "There is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first", said Ri Yong-ho, North Korea's foreign minister, speaking at the United Nations. "That's a two-way street". "We'll continue to make significant progress, and we are further along in making that progress than any administration in an awfully long time".

Pompeo told a reporter travelling with him Monday that "we made significant progress".

Asked about Seoul considering lifting some sanctions to create space for diplomacy with North Korea, Trump says: "They won't do that without our approval". You have no nuclear testing.

The Kaesong factory park was a major symbol of cooperation between the Koreas and an important income source for North Korea before the South's previous conservative government shut it down in February 2016 following a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

But Biegun never got to meet his likely North Korean counterpart, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui.

The summit in Pyongyang was called to restart negotiations between the United States and the North. Choe was out of the country-meeting officials in Russian Federation and China-when the Americans arrived.

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