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UN allows North Koreans to travel to Vietnam

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 14:20 GMT+7
UN allows North Koreans to travel to Vietnam
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un meet at the start of their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. Picture taken June 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters

UNITED NATIONS, United States — A UN Security Council sanctions committee has agreed to allow North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s delegation to travel to Vietnam for a summit meeting with US President Donald Trump, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Vietnam had asked the committee to grant an exemption to senior North Korean officials who are on a UN sanctions blacklist to allow them to attend the February 27-28 summit in Vietnam.

The sanctions provide for a global travel ban that bars governments from granting them visas to come into their countries.

UN diplomats said Vietnam had requested a blanket exemption for the North Korean officials and that none of the 15 Security Council members had objected.

The committee also granted exemptions to allow the delegation to attend the US-North Korean summit in Singapore in June.

In Washington, Trump said Kim must make a "meaningful" gesture on denuclearisation if he wants the UN sanctions to be eased.

"The sanctions are on in full. I haven’t taken sanctions off," Trump told reporters at the White House.

"I’d love to be able to, but in order to do that, we have to do something that’s meaningful on the other side."

"Chairman Kim and I have a very good relationship. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something work out," Trump said, without providing further details.

Trump reiterated his view that North Korea has "great" potential for economic development and suggested the Vietnam summit would not be the last.

At their landmark meeting in Singapore last year, the US and North Korean leaders produced a vaguely worded document in which Kim pledged to work toward "the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

But progress has since stalled, with the two sides disagreeing over what that means.

Trump on Tuesday said that while he hoped his next meeting with Kim would yield much progress, he was also in "no rush" for results.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders meanwhile said Trump spoke by phone with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the two men "reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearisation of" North Korea.

Vietnam News Agency

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