United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the world stands at the “dawn of a new day” in relations with North Korea. But, he added, international sanctions must remain and be vigorously enforced if diplomatic efforts at its denuclearization are to succeed – a position facing resistance from China and Russia.
Chairing a special session of the UN Security Council, Mr Pompeo said President Donald Trump’s diplomatic breakthrough with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has led to a point where the nuclear threat from the country can be resolved.
He added that the US has evidence that certain sanctions were being violated, and demanded that UN members must ensure sanctions are respected. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed that the sanctions “remain valid,” but said the resolutions provide for their modification based on North Korea’s compliance.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said that certain sanctions, unrelated to the nuclear program, should be eased. Mr Pompeo met North Korea’s foreign minister on Wednesday. He will make a third trip to North Korea next month before a second summit between Kim and Trump, who met in Singapore in June. US officials have repeatedly reported progress in the denuclearization discussions with the North, but little visible evidence of that has been seen.