There is a series of news on the United States’ negotiation agenda that it will suspend some sanctions on North Korea prior to the upcoming U.S.-North Korea working-level denuclearization talks on scheduled this Saturday. Reportedly, the U.S. negotiating team led by U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Stephen Biegun has reviewed various “corresponding actions” following a denuclearization measure that Pyongyang will propose during this weekend’s meeting.
U.S. online media VOX reported on Wednesday (local time) that the Trump administration has come up with a measure to suspend export sanctions on North Korea’s coal and fabric products for the next 36 months on the condition that North Korea dismantles the Yongbyon nuclear complex and takes further steps. Previously in July, some media outlets reported the news citing a source at a thinktank, which was officially denied by the U.S. Department of State right away. However, VOX made it clear that it heard from two sources familiar with the negotiations, writing that it is what Washington will propose during this weekend’s meeting with Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, a diplomatic source said regarding VOX’s reports that it is true that the suspension of sanctions on coal and fabrics exports has been discussed along with other alternatives within the U.S. government since the U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore. However, it is uncertain if the proposal will be brought to the negotiating table given that the focal point is not the suspension of sanctions but security guarantee of the North Korean regime. Furthermore, the recent launch of Pyongyang’s SLBM only makes it less likely that the meeting will discuss the lessening of sanctions.
Stephen Biegun did not make an explicit remark on negotiations with North Korea although he attended a commemorative event at the South Korean Embassy to the United States on the occasion of Korea’s Armed Forces Day and National Foundation Day. He merely stressed in his congratulatory speech that a great diplomatic plan has just begun to create a new history on the Korean Peninsula, which aims to bring long-lasting and sustained peace to Korean residents.
A group of four North Korean officials headed to Stockholm on China Airlines CA911 via Beijing Capital International Airport on Thursday afternoon including Foreign Ministry Roving Ambassador Kim Myong Gil, who is likely to lead North Korean working-level representatives. “We will fly to have a working-level meeting with the United States,” the ambassador said to reporters at Beijing Capital International Airport. “We have high hopes and expectations about the meeting’s results as Washington has sent us new signals.”
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