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Trump: North Korea sanctions to remain until they denuclearize

President Donald J. Trump addresses the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
September 25, 2018

Sanctions will remain in effect against North Korea until denuclearization takes place, President Donald Trump said Tuesday while addressing the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

“We have engaged with North Korea to replace the specter of conflict with a bold and new push for peace,” Trump told world leaders and their representatives, mentioning his June summit in Singapore with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The two had “highly productive conversations and meetings,” and they had agreed it was in both parties’ best interests to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Trump said.

“We have since seen encouraging measures. The missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction,” he added, pointing out many positive steps taken since then: nuclear activity has stopped, some facilities have already begun being dismantled, American hostages have been released, and some remains of fallen U.S. troops have been repatriated.

And, the second U.S.-North Korea summit with Kim Jong Un is probably happening “quite soon,” President Trump told reporters Monday.

The President had also pointed out how his relationship with Kim has improved since last year, when it felt like every other week there were reports of North Korea firing off nuclear missile tests.

“It was a different world. That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time,” he told reporters, the Associated Press reported.

He said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is working to make the second summit happen, and when asked if the meeting will happen, he said, “We will be doing that,” the AP said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is also said to be carrying a personal, private letter from Kim that he will deliver to Trump when two meet on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly this week.

“There are things that the United States wants us to convey to North Korea, and on the other side there are also things that North Korea wants us to convey to the United States,” Moon said Thursday after returning to Seoul from Pyongyang, the Associated Press had reported. “I will faithfully serve that role when I meet President Trump to facilitate dialogue between North Korea and the United States.”

Moon and Kim met last week for a 3-day inter-Korean summit, the third in four months, where they agreed to start the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and signed an agreement of North Korea’s reaffirmation for denuclearization.

Trump and Moon are said to be meeting this week sometime during the United Nations General Assembly. Trump is going to chair the Security Council meeting on Iran on Tuesday.

Following their summit, South Korea announced Thursday that Kim wanted to meet with Pompeo very soon, and have a second summit with Trump, in order to accelerate and “speed up” the denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo had said last week that the goal is for North Korea to denuclearize by 2021, and that he has invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet in New York next week during United Nations General Assembly week, Reuters had reported.

This article has been updated to reflect a typo – the goal being for North Korea to denuclearize by 2021, not 2012. We regret this error.