You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

US urges sustained sanctions pressure on N. Korea

Topics
Politics

AFP  |  Singapore 

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday took America's "pressure campaign" against North Korea to a summit of world leaders, as concerns mount over Pyongyang's key allies easing sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation.

But there has been little progress since, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

The isolated, impoverished North is under heavy sanctions imposed over its atomic weapons programme, which it has pursued in violation of UN resolutions.

Washington insists they must be maintained until the North denuclearises.

But US officials acknowledge enforcement of the sanctions by the North's traditional trading partners China and Russia has eased.

Meanwhile, Seoul has said it is mulling lifting its own measures against Pyongyang.

In remarks at the opening of a meeting with Southeast Asian leaders, Pence said America's regional "partnership also includes our pressure campaign regarding" the North.

The meeting in Singapore is also being attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean leader Moon Jae-in.

"We will very much be talking about the need to maintain the pressure programme," a senior US official said.

"It is what got Kim Jong Un to the table. It is incredibly important that the pressure stays on."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also stressed in a meeting with members of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) the need to fully enforce sanctions.

"He urged ASEAN countries to collaborate on concrete measures such as ship to ship transfer of prohibited materials, including fuel," said foreign ministry spokesman Takeshi Osuga.

US officials insist on the final, fully verified denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula before sanctions are lifted.

The North has rejected demands for what it calls "unilateral" disarmament, and has instead sought unspecified reciprocal US measures in a gradual process.

It has also called for sanctions to be eased as a reward for coming to the table, warning Washington's stance is undermining confidence.

While Trump has struck an optimistic tone in public, there are indications Pyongyang is not moving quickly enough towards abandoning its nuclear weapons.

Trump has skipped this week's Singapore summit, the biggest annual meeting organised by ASEAN, raising new questions about US commitment to Asia.

Taking his place, Pence insisted America's commitment to the region was "steadfast and enduring".

"In all that we do the United States seeks collaboration not control," he said at the meeting with Southeast Asian leaders.

He also took a swipe at Beijing, whose growing assertiveness in the South China Sea has long been a source of friction with rival claimants in Southeast Asia and the United States.

"Empire and aggression have no place in the Indo-Pacific," Pence said.

"We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you for freedom of navigation and our determination to ensure your nations are secure in their sovereign borders, on land and at sea."


Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea, even areas approaching the coastlines of other countries, and has been establishing military installations on disputed outcrops.

After Singapore, Pence is heading to Papua New Guinea for a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, November 15 2018. 13:35 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU