US, S. Korea resume military drills ahead of talks with North

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07 November, 2018

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui is expected to accompany Kim Yong Chol, who is likely to visit NY for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the source said.

Over the weekend, North Korea issued a statement warning that they will "seriously consider" returning to the development on nuclear weapons if the United States continues to refuse to ease economic sanctions against them. In Washington last week, South Korea's defence minister said the two countries would decide by December on major joint military exercises for 2019.

The living conditions of North Koreans have deteriorated since the isolated state allocated huge sums of money to developing nuclear weapons and testing long-range missiles, prompting unprecedented USA sanctions.

He plans to meet this coming week in NY with a senior North Korean official.

"I'll be in New York City at the end of this week meeting with my counterpart, Kim Yong Chol", he said, adding that some real progress is expected to make such as an effort to make sure that the summit between the two leaders can take place, during which the two sides can make substantial steps towards denuclearization.

North Korea has warned it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country.

"We know with whom we are negotiating, we know what their positions [are] and President Trump has made his position very clear", he said during a separate interview on Fox News Sunday.

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Pompeo emphasized in both television appearances that there have been no missile or nuclear tests since the summit in Singapore, and remains of USA troops killed during the Korean War have been returned.

"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible", said the statement, released under the name of the director of the foreign ministry's Institute for American Studies.

"The U.S. thinks that its oft-repeated "sanctions and pressure" leads to 'denuclearization.' We can not help laughing at such a foolish idea", it said.

Despite a flurry of diplomacy on and around the peninsula differences are emerging between Seoul and Washington, which stations 28,500 troops in the South to protect it from its nuclear-armed neighbour. There have been no nuclear tests.

North Korea has recently stepped up its rhetoric, demanding an easing of USA economic sanctions, with the support of China and Russian Federation.

"We're continuing to negotiate with the North Koreans to achieve ... the full denuclearization verified by the United States of the Korean peninsula", he added.

The exercises this week could impact upcoming talks scheduled this week between Secretary Pompeo and top North Korean adviser Kim Yong Chol, the Guardian reports.


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