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Iran Press TV

Russia, China dispute US call for tougher sanctions against North Korea

Iran Press TV

Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:28PM

Russia and China have called for an easing of UN sanctions on North Korea at a UN Security Council meeting, disputing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's appeal for a stricter enforcement despite warming bilateral relations.

The discussions were held during the annual UN General Assembly session on Thursday and were opened by Pompeo's speech during which he voiced hope for the "dawn of a new day" with Pyongyang.

The US Secretary of State, however, went on to emphasize the importance of the vigorous implementation of sanctions in convincing North Korea to negotiate, warning of any cutback on pressure "until we realize final, fully verified denuclearization."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi contested Pompeo's remarks explaining that North Korean cooperation and warmer US ties necessitate a loosening of sanctions.

Moreover, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed support for the Chinese position, further arguing that positive steps had to be taken to encourage the North Koreans to pursue the concessions.

Second Trump-Kim Summit

Pompeo met his North Korean counterpart Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho on the sidelines of the UN session on Wednesday, accepting Ho's invitation to visit Pyongyang next month to follow up implementation of the US-DPRK Singapore summit and to "prepare for a second summit between Trump and Kim," according to State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

US President Trump met North Korean president Kim Jong Un in June in what was the first-ever summit between the two countries, praising the North Korean leader for taking positive steps toward denuclearization.

The discussions come amid what observers describe as mixed signals between North Korea and the US with some analysts doubting true changes in the two countries' positions beyond rhetoric.

Talks have been marred by US accusations that Pyongyang is violating UN sanctions and that the country remains "a significant threat."

The North has responded by saying that Washington has betrayed the spirit of the summit by making unilateral demands while maintaining sanctions in place, effectively hindering inter-Korean relations.

Pyongyang has firmly defended its military program as a deterrent against the hostile policies of the US and its regional allies, including South Korea and Japan. Thousands of US soldiers are stationed in South Korea and Japan.

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