North Korean sports minister allowed into Japan for Olympic meetings

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South Korean President Moon, however, is keen to improve relations and reduce tensions with North Korea, which previous year were threatening to engulf the Korean Peninsula in war.

But for the inter-Korean rail and road project to move further down the track, additional lifting of sanctions are needed both from the UN Security Council and the USA,.as the recent waivers, for now, apply only to the on-site survey.

"Our government has stood by the principle of honoring the sanctions regime and working closely with the worldwide community as we conduct key inter-Korean projects".

"The actual construction will be pursued according to progress in North Korea's denuclearisation", the unification ministry said.


"Signs have been detected that North Korea is doing some preparations and intelligence-related activity over a possible visit by outside experts, as it shut down the nuclear test site and demolished some of the missile launching facilities at Dongchang-ri", Kim Min-ki of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party said at the time.

North Korea continued to criticize South Korea and the USA on Tuesday for taking part in a United Nations resolution condemning its human rights violations. Last week a North Korean website criticised the failure of the U.S. to make any concessions.

Seoul said the survey was purely aimed at gathering information on the current state of the North's rail system.

"It is created to incentivize North Korea to take concrete steps on denuclearization", said Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.


South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife have been pictured cuddling a litter of puppies whelped by one of the dogs given to them by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a symbol of the strengthening ties between the two countries. Seoul's Defense Ministry confirmed the dismantling of 10 North Korean guard posts and said North Korean soldiers had used hammers to tear down sections ahead of last week's near-simultaneous demolitions.

The team from the North is expected to be similar in size, and represent similar government bodies and institutions.

The US has been adamant pressure and sanctions must be maintained on Pyongyang until it fully dismantles its weapons programme. The North wants to deal directly with U.S. President Donald Trump. Last week, US Defence Secretary James Mattis foreshadowed that the annual joint Foal Eagle war games would proceed next year, albeit "reduced in scope" so as to keep from "being harmful to diplomacy".


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