11:33 GMT +316 January 2019
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    Retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination to serve as defense secretary in Washington, U.S. January 12, 2017

    Sanctions on N Korea to Be Lifted Only After Denuclearization - Pentagon Chief

    © REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday, that the sanctions imposed on North Korea can only be lifted after Pyongyang demonstrates that it has taken "irreversible steps to denuclearization," as quoted by the Yonhap news agency.

    "North Korea will receive relief only when it demonstrates verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearization," Mattis said at the opening of trilateral talks between the United States, South Korean and Japan on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore.

    These words echo the statement of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said in May that Washington plans to allow private investments and provide "sanctions relief" if the North Korean government dismantles its nuclear arsenal.

    READ MORE: N Korean Envoy Arrives at White House to Deliver Kim's Letter to Trump

    A historic inter-Korean summit in the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27 prompted a thaw in the relations with Washington, and US President Donald Trump then agreed to meet with Kim in Singapore on June 12 to discuss the situation on the peninsula and possible sanctions relief in exchange for denuclearization.

    However, on May 24, Trump abruptly canceled the anticipated US-North Korea summit, citing hostile comments by Pyongyang and stressing that he was looking forward to meeting with the North Korean leader "some day." On Friday, following the meeting with Kim Yong-chol, a major aide to Kim and deputy chairman of the North Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee, in Washington, the US president confirmed that he would go to Singapore to meet Kim Jong-un, as initially scheduled.


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    denuclearization, sanctions, Jim Mattis, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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