00:48 GMT27 January 2020
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Russia and China have submitted a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to lift sanctions on North Korea and promptly resume the 'six-party' talks, according to the text of the document.

    The resolution proposes to exempt the inter-Korean rail and road cooperation from UN sanctions and lift all measures previously imposed by the UN Security Council directly related to civilian livelihood, among others.

    The draft resolution also “calls for prompt resumption of the six-party talks or re-launch of multilateral consultations in any other similar format, with the goal of facilitating a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue, reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and promoting peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial regional cooperation in North-East Asia".

    The draft also says that UN member states should terminate the measure that requests all North Korean citizens working overseas to return home by 22 December.

    A diplomatic source said that a date to vote on the measure has not been set yet.

    'Crucial' Tests at Sohae Satellite Site

    US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that his administration is closely watching North Korea amid reports that Pyongyang is resuming missile tests and would be disappointed if something was "in the works".

    "We're watching it. We'll see. I'd be disappointed if something would be in the works. And if it is, we'll take care of it. But we'll see. We're watching it very closely. We're watching North Korea - we're watching many places, actually, very closely. But North Korea, we are watching very closely", Trump said at a roundtable discussion on the Governors’ Initiative on Regulatory Innovation.

    Earlier this month, Pyongyang conducted what it had described as "crucial" tests at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground. The tests reportedly threaten to undermine Washington's drive to denuclearize the Korean peninsula through the use of diplomacy.

    A State Department official said Monday, cited by Reuters, the UN Security Council should not be considering "premature sanctions relief" for North Korea as it is "threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearization".

    Russia, China Stance on North Korea

    North Korea has been subject to numerous UN sanctions since 2006 for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

    Since 2018, the United States and North Korea have held two summits, agreeing in principle to normalize relations while pursuing a policy of denuclearization.

    After the second US-North Korea summit in Vietnam in February, Pyongyang committed itself to end nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This non-binding pledge did not, however, extend to engine tests, or the launches of satellites or medium- and short-range ballistic missiles.

    Negotiations came to a halt, with Washington demanding more decisive steps from Pyongyang. North Korea has blamed the United States for not properly following through on its previous gestures of goodwill.

    China’s relationship with North Korea has thawed significantly since Kim and Xi assumed office in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Kim has visited China four times since March 2018, while Xi became the first Chinese leader to visit North Korea in 14 years. Moreover, Beijing has reportedly emerged as a key player in the US-led push to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

    Russian Envoy to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia stressed earlier that achieving a peaceful settlement on the Korean peninsula requires the adoption of a political resolution rather than obstructing the prospects for peace with sanctions and pressure. Nebenzia pointed out that Russia has always been advocating for improving confidence-building measures to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the United Nations should bolster these efforts.

    In October, Pyongyang gave the US until the end of the year to come up with a mutually-acceptable deal to advance the denuclearization process. North Korea's vice foreign minister, Ri Thae Song, said that the dialogue on denuclearization promoted by Washington was a "foolish trick" used in favor of the political situation in the US and warned of a "Christmas gift".

    Related:

    IAEA Got No Invitation From North Korea to Visit Nyongbyon Nuclear Test Site - Grossi
    North Korea Says 'US Has Nothing to Offer Us' Even if Talks Are Resumed
    North Korea Conducted Another 'Important Test' at Sohae Cosmodrome - Military Academy
    US ‘Coordinating Closely’ With Allies After North Korea’s New Test – State Dept
    US Envoy for North Korea Urges Pyongyang to Reopen Negotiations
    Tags:
    resolution, United Nations, sanctions, China, Russia, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK)
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