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Pro-N. Korean paper calls for sanctions lifting before 2nd summit with U.S.

All Headlines 15:14 January 02, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- The United States should first drop its push for sanctions and pressure against North Korea if a second summit between the two countries is going to happen, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan said Wednesday.

"If the U.S. president moves from his anachronistic mindset bent on sanctions to resolve anything and also from a variant version of talk of adjusting speeds (on negotiations) and draws up a right 2019 business plan, it would be possible to find a clue to the second summit between North Korea and the U.S.," the Choson Sinbo said in an article.

In his New Year's Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that he is committed to complete denuclearization and ready for a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. But he also demanded the U.S. drop its sanctions-oriented policy, warning of a new way unless the demand is met.

Kim and Trump held their first-ever summit in June in Singapore where the North Korean leader agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for "new relations" with and security guarantees from Washington.

Subsequent talks, however, have been stalled in recent months as the two countries have failed to iron out differences over the sequencing of the denuclearization process.

North Korea demands sanctions relief or removal from the U.S. to reciprocate what it claims to be substantive measures it has taken since the June summit. Washington wants more concrete steps.

"There was no meaningful first step taken toward the implementation of the joint declaration (adopted in the June summit)," the paper said. "The U.S. negotiation team rather pushed forward to demand unilateral nuclear disarmament with sanctions and pressure running counter to the spirit of the declaration.

The paper added that there could be an "epoch-making event" in the relations between the two countries this year if Washington does all it has to do in its side of the deal.

In response to Kim's speech Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he is looking forward to a second summit with the North Korean leader. He earlier said that the meeting with Kim could take place in January or February.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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