US, S Korea Say UN Sanctions on Pyongyang to Be Kept Until Full Denuclearization

© REUTERS / KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - Sputnik International
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TOKYO (Sputnik) - US Defense Minister Jim Mattis and his South Korean counterpart Song Young-moo said in a joint statement on Thursday that the international sanctions imposed on Pyongyang should be kept until North Korea's full denuclearization.

"The UN sanctions should be kept intact until there is full, irreversible denuclearization," the statement read.

These words echo previous claims of US President Donald Trump, who has recently decided to prolong sanctions introduced in the wake of North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, urging Pyongyang to destroy its nuclear arsenal. At the same time, he did not exclude the lifting of sanctions after North Korea's "full, verifiable and irreversible" denuclearization.

READ MORE: Indispensable Partner: Why US Can't Solve N Korean Problem Without China

On June 12, Trump and Kim Jong-un met in Singapore, where they issued an agreement that requires Pyongyang to denuclearize in exchange for a freeze of the US-South Korean military drills and eventual sanctions relief.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017 - Sputnik International
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The tensions on the Korean peninsula over Pyongyang's nuclear program started to thaw at the beginning of 2018. On April 27, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in the truce village of Panmunjom and signed a joint declaration, agreeing to take measures to support international efforts aimed at denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

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