North Korea puts reunion of war-separated families in doubt


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged United Nations member-states to keep tough economic sanctions fully in place on North Korea and maintain pressure on Kim Jong Un to dismantle Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The North has conducted at least 89 such transfers in the first five months of this year alone, according to Pompeo.

Earlier this year, the USA unveiled sanctions aimed at the illegal trade of petroleum products, coal and other goods with North Korea.

"We need to see Chairman Kim do what he promised the world he would do", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after meeting with the Security Council. The resolution also barred United Nations members from exporting more crude to North Korea than they exported over the previous 12 months.

Pipeline volumes of between 30,000 tons to 40,000 tons are enough in the summer to keep the pipeline from China to North Korea unclogged, while this volume is around 80,000 tons in the winter, Chosun Ilbo's source said.

The unified Korean team of Jang Woojin from the South and Cha Hyo Sim from the North reached the final of the mixed doubles at the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Korea Open, as another combined pair exited at the semi-finals of the men's doubles today.

Van Oosterom, who chairs the council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea, told reporters: "I think for all of us it's clear that the progress is in the talks so far, that the engagement is there and the discussions are taking place".

She warned that "certain countries" are seeking to circumvent standing sanctions by seeking waivers or the watering down of the economic penalties.

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On Thursday, Gennady Gatilov, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, said that the summit meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump had been a watershed moment for advancing efforts to resolve the Syria conflict.

But America's top diplomat warned that "when sanctions are not enforced, the prospects for the successful denuclearization of North Korea are diminished".

The lack of immediate progress, though predicted by many analysts, has frustrated the President, who has fumed at his aides in private even as he publicly hails the success of the negotiations.

"They were not suggesting that we talk about it immediately", he said.

"We hope the relevant countries in the UNSC, can, based on solid evidence, make relevant decisions on whether to export oil" to North Korea, said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

On June 12, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a historic meeting - the first-ever between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader - in Singapore. US documents sent to the committee and obtained by The Associated Press cite 89 instances between January 1 and May 30 in which North Korean tankers likely delivered refined products "illicitly procured" via such transfers.

"Are they telling us that they want to continue supplying this oil?" We just ask questions totally in line with sanction committee rules. Trump insists he has "solved" the North Korea problem and the nation is no longer a nuclear threat.

He said a second message they delivered was that "to achieve that, full implementation of the sanctions is absolutely crucial".