US to keep sanctions on North until it denuclearises


UNITED NATIONS • US President Donald Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un yesterday for his courage in taking some steps to disarm, but said much work needed to be done and sanctions must remain in place on North Korea until it denuclearises.

"The missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction, nuclear testing has stopped, some military facilities are already being dismantled," Mr Trump said in his speech to the annual United Nations General Assembly.

"I would like to thank Chairman Kim for his courage and for the steps he has taken, though much work remains to be done," he said. "The sanctions will stay in place until denuclearisation occurs."

Mr Trump's remarks on North Korea were dramatically different to those in his speech at the UN assembly last year, when he threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea and mocked Mr Kim as "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission".

On Monday, Mr Trump said he expected a second summit with Mr Kim to be announced "pretty soon", but that the location had not been determined. "Chairman Kim has been really very open and terrific, frankly. I think he wants to see something happen," he said at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the UN.

Mr Moon, who met Mr Kim last week for a third time this year, said he brought Mr Trump a personal message from Mr Kim saying he was hoping to meet the US leader again soon. Mr Trump and Mr Kim first met on June 12 in Singapore.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2018, with the headline 'US to keep sanctions on North until it denuclearises'. Subscribe