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US opposes lifting key sanctions against North Korea

Published: Updated:

The United States said Tuesday that it opposes a draft resolution proposed by China and Russia that would terminate UN sanctions on key North Korean exports, calling the measure “premature” at a time when Pyongyang is threatening to conduct “an escalated provocation” and is refusing to meet with US officials to discuss denuclearization.

The US State Department said President Donald Trump “remains committed to making progress toward commitments” he made with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at their first summit in Singapore in June 2018 on transforming relations between the two countries, building lasting peace, and ensuring complete denuclearization.

A State Department statement said the US remains committed to diplomacy to make progress toward these goals, but it “cannot do this alone.”

The draft resolution circulated to UN Security Council members Monday night would terminate sanctions on North Korean exports including textiles, seafood, and statues with the intent of enhancing the livelihood of the civilian population. It would also lift a ban on North Koreans working overseas and terminate a decision to repatriate all those earning income abroad by December 22.