South Korea retracts plan to ease sanctions
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 10/11/18, 01:23 pm
South Korean officials on Thursday backpedaled on their foreign minister’s proposal to lift unilateral sanctions from North Korea after backlash within the country and from U.S. President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told South Korean lawmakers the government was reviewing sanctions the South imposed on the North in 2010 following a deadly attack on a warship that killed 45 South Korean sailors. North Korea has long denied responsibility for the attack. In a statement, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry later said the government has not started a “full-fledged review” of the sanctions.
When asked about Kang’s comments, Trump said South Korea would need approval from the United States before making such a move: “They won’t do it without our approval. They do nothing without our approval.” Trump has repeatedly called on U.S. allies to maintain “maximum pressure” on North Korea to encourage denuclearization. South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon on Thursday told parliamentary auditors the government has not given serious consideration to lifting the sanctions, especially as North Korea still denies it staged the attack.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.