International sanctions imposed on North Korea should be lifted when Pyongyang meets its commitments to nuclear disarmament, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the UN Security Council on Thursday.
Speaking at the Council meeting on the situation around North Korea, the Russian minister stressed “the important progress in solving the problems of the Korean peninsula achieved in recent months.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Seoul and Pyongyang had announced their intention to increase bilateral cooperation, and the North Koreans had promised “to dismantle the Tongchang nuclear plant and close the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, which gives us hope that the situation in this part of the world can stabilize. ”
In Lavrov’s view, while the Korean crisis is in the process of being resolved, plans to restrict restrictions on North Korea, which the West imposes on the international community, “seem less and less timely.”
“Measures taken by North Korea on the path to gradual disarmament should be accompanied by relief from sanctions,” insisted the Russian Foreign Minister.
In a wide-ranging news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, US President Trump told reporters that despite tough U.S. sanctions against the North staying in place, he believes that Kim wants to get a deal done because of their close ties.
“We have a very good relationship. He likes me, I like him, we get along,” Trump said. “He wants to make a deal and I’d like to make a deal.”
He wouldn’t put a timeframe, however, on when the two leaders might settle the standoff. “We’re not playing the time game,” he said.
Although Trump maintained that he’d given up nothing in his dealings with Kim, he has faced criticism for his decision during the Singapore summit to scrap annual U.S. military drills with ally South Korea. Critics called it a concession for the North, which has long railed against the drills as invasion preparation and proof of U.S. hostility.
Trump said on Wednesday that he’d long wanted to stop the drills, which had always been portrayed by the allies as defensive in nature, because of their high cost and said he could restart them if needed. “For the taxpayer, we’re saving a fortune,” Trump said.