It is time to consider relaxing sanctions against North Korea, Russia’s permanent representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said, stressing the need to wait for the right moment to actually do so.
Nebenzia participated in the opening of a memorial cross at the Fort Ross Orthodox Cemetery in California (USA).
“We said it’s time to think about [relaxing North Korea’s sanctions]. Let’s wait and see when the time is right [to do so],” Nebenzia said.
At the same time, he recalled that Russia is defending concessions to Pyongyang.
“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang […] and called the talks positive, of course we do not know the details of these talks, but for a long time the North Koreans send signals that they have few concessions from their partners,” said Nebenzia.
The concessions in question, he continued, do not imply the lifting of sanctions.
“For example, the rail links between North and South, which also support South Korea,” he said. “They are not subject to restrictions, however, there is no progress in this matter,” he added.
The United Nations Security Council has introduced several sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s missile launches and nuclear tests.
The organization, in particular, restricted oil exports to North Korea and banned foreign companies from hiring North Korean workers.
This year, North Korea suspended nuclear and missile tests and dismantled the Punggye-ri atomic testing site in the context of normalizing relations with South Korea and the US.
At the historic summit with the two countries, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
However, the communist country remains subject to the most severe regime of international sanctions of the 21st century imposed by its nuclear tests and missile launches carried out in previous years in violation of UN resolutions.