South Korea eyes lifting of some sanctions against North Korea

President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June

President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore in June

South Korea has considered lifting economic sanctions created to force North Korea to relinquish its nuclear weapons, drawing a swift rebuke from Donald Trump and exposing a rift in Seoul's alliance with Washington.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha had said on Wednesday that Seoul was considering lifting measures applied after a deadly attack in 2010.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a parliamentary audit on Thursday there has been no serious consideration given to lifting the sanctions and that doing so would be hard unless North Korea acknowledges responsibility for the 2010 attack.

South Korea is supplying water in the North Korean border town of Kaesong using a facility in a now-shuttered factory park that had been jointly operated by the rivals.

Lifting the South's sanctions would have little effect since US -led worldwide sanctions remain.

The Trump administration has credited its pressure campaign, involving tightened sanctions, with bringing North Korea to the negotiating table to discuss the dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program.

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman presented "Trump: The Art of the Deal" to Kim Il Guk, North Korea's minister of Physical Culture and Sports, in 2017.

The Chinese sports delegation, including male and female players, arrived in Pyongyang on Monday afternoon before North Korea's Party Foundation Day on Wednesday, marking the 1945 foundation of the precursor of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

The US Secretary of State expressed "discontent" with peaceful negotiations between North and South Korea, which signed a military pact during last month's summit without consulting him.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha takes an oath during a parliamentary audit of her ministry's affairs at its headquarters in Seoul on October 10, 2018.

Kang argued that the measures needed to be reviewed because negotiations between the two countries were improving and numerous sanctions from the measures were identical with existing United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

The drive for denuclearisation sprang from pledges made by Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their historic summit in Singapore in June, although there has since been disagreement over how that would be achieved.

Despite the current mood of detente and negotiation between the Koreas, the removal of sanctions would be a hard decision for Seoul's government. An editorial titled "Kang flubs it" described her comments as "shortsighted" and said the paper was "dumbfounded" by her remarks.

South Korea still hopes to press ahead with improving ties with its neighbour, Oba said, and Moon "will continue to test the envelope but avoid any actions he thinks will cause open tensions with the United States". Moon's liberal government has favoured closer ties with the North, but has also vowed to adhere to global sanctions which bar most trade with the regime.

The doveish Moon, who will attend a "peace Mass" for the Korean peninsula in Saint Peter's on October 17, has pushed rapprochement with Kim, meeting him three times in the a year ago. While U.N. sanctions against North Korea don't ban tourism, they do place restrictions on bulk cash transfers, he said.

The May 24 measures include the South blocking North Korea's access to the Jeju Straight. "This has nothing to do with restarting the Kaesong factory park". "This will allow them to save time and fuel".

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