The Korea Herald


S. Korea, US relieve sanctions for video reunion of separated Korean families

By Jo He-rim

Published : March 15, 2019 - 16:23

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South Korea and the United States held a working group session Thursday to discuss about ways to resume denuclearization negotiations with North Korea, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The two allies held a working group meeting in Washington, DC, the first after the summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi faltered without an agreement last month.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the two sides discussed on pending issues regarding North Korea, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean cooperation. Rhee Dong-yeol, director general of the ministry’s Korean Peninsula peace regime bureau went to represent South Korea, while his US counterpart was Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary of state for North Korea. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Not revealing much about the meeting, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry released a two-paragraph press release to say the two sides will closely work together to resume negotiations with North Korea for complete denuclearization, while keeping the sanctions in place,

The US Department of State’s deputy spokesperson, Robert Palladino also said the US and South Korea shared the goal of a “final, fully verified denuclearization,” after the working group session ended on Thursday.

“During the meeting, the United States and the Republic of Korea shared updates on efforts to achieve our shared goal of a final, fully verified denuclearization, including through the implementation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Palladino said during the regular press briefing.

“The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to continue regularly hosting these consultations and coordination as alliance partners.”

The two sides discussed temporary sanctions waiver for planned video reunions of separated Korean families, according to ministry officials. On Friday, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said the two allies completed the talks to lift sanctions for the video reunion of the separated Korean families.

“The processes for temporary sanctions waiver for the video reunions of the separated families have been completed, and we will be able to push for the project,” Lee Yu-jin, deputy spokesperson for the Unification Ministry said in a press briefing.

“The United States has expressed support for the inter-Korean cooperation to continue, along with efforts for denuclearization, during the working group session.”

The sanctions waiver from the US would allow Seoul to bring the related equipment to the North, such as monitors and cameras.

In New York, US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held meetings with members of the UN Security Council to provide a briefing on the Hanoi talks.

By Jo He-rim (