Trump cancels new sanctions on N. Korea, contradicts Treasury

Seoul sought to keep the door open to more contact

Seoul sought to keep the door open to more contact

The Unification Ministry statement said North Korea said it "will not mind the South remaining" in the liaison office and that it would notify the South about practical matters later.

South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung leaves after a press conference at the Unification Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 22, 2019.

It has expressed its regret at the decision and is urging staff from the North to return as soon as possible. Please refresh the page for the fullest version. It represents another expression of North Korean displeasure following the collapse of the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi last...

Last Friday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said her country has no intention of compromising or continuing the nuclear talks unless the United States takes steps commensurate with those the North has taken, such as its moratorium on missile launches and weapons tests, and changes its "political calculation". The fact that Pyongyang is not even willing to have staff in the same office as South Korea right now does not bode well, our correspondent says.

While the liaison office was one of the main agreements reached in three summits between Moon and Kim previous year, Chun said it's too early to say whether North Korea is renegading on the deals. Such a remark is a reaffirmation of another interview, during which he said the USA has strong intentions to hold dialogue with the North, only under the precondition that the regime moves first with verifiable steps for denuclearization.

It was not clear whether North Korea's move would be permanent
It was not clear whether North Korea's move would be permanent

While declining to say whether Washington was trying to send a post-summit message to Pyongyang, the official said Trump "has made clear that the door is wide open to continuing the dialogue with North Korea".

Two senior administration officials, who briefed reporters only on condition of anonymity to discuss US policy on North Korea, said illegal ship-to-ship transfers that violate USA and worldwide sanctions have increased and not all countries, including China, are implementing the restrictions. Chun mentioned the departing North Korean diplomatic officials took documents with them but left most of their equipment behind.

WATCH | North Korea vs.

In an article published in February, Reuters cited two witnesses as saying the Tantal transferred fuel to a North Korean vessel at sea at least four times between October 2017 and May 2018. Speaking with Fox Business Network on Tuesday, he explained that President Trump has said he would be very, very disappointed if the North resumes testing. "We want to monitor the situation for a bit longer and respond to the developments, instead of making predictions or premature judgments".

On Monday, two senior USA senators called for the Trump administration to correct a slowing pace of American sanctions designations on North Korea, saying such actions had seen a marked decline in the past year of US diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.

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