US sanctions relief & ‘bold action’ by North key to solve deadlock – S. Korean president’s aide

US sanctions relief & ‘bold action’ by North key to solve deadlock – S. Korean president’s aide
Deeds not words are key to ensure a breakthrough in implementing denuclearization, a security adviser to the South Korean President has said, suggesting that the US partially lift sanctions and the North make some “bold action.”

“A breakthrough may emerge should the North take bold action and the US partially lift sanctions at the same time,” Moon Chung-in was quoted by the Yonhap news agency. It is crucial, he pointed out, that the US and North Korea make sure to “take action rather than just exchanging verbal pledges” to move forward.

However, it is not easy “to demand that one of them give ground first,” admitted Moon, who also served as national security adviser for previous administrations as well as the Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service.

The comment by the high-ranked presidential aide comes as Seoul tries to breathe air into the dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang. Following the milestone Trump-Kim meeting in Singapore last summer, both sides exchanged promising statements but to no avail.

South Korea, for its part, is keen to restore ties with the northern neighbor. Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in held three summits in addition to a series of high-level military talks in 2018. The leaders have also agreed to link railway and road networks and attended a symbolic ceremony on the border.

Kim has also suggested that the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a symbol of cooperation between the two Koreas, has reopened again and South Korean tourists are allowed into the North. However, further economic cooperation is impeded by US and international sanctions in effect on North Korea.

Despite some positive rhetoric, the Trump administration seemed reluctant to make any feasible concessions to North Korea. Meanwhile, analysts told RT that Washington is prone to keep sanctions against Pyongyang in place, even if it gives up some of its stance. 

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