US to Keep Up Pressure against N. Korea, but also Ready to Talk

Write : 2018-02-12 09:29:07 Update : 2018-02-12 16:38:07

US to Keep Up Pressure against N. Korea, but also Ready to Talk

Anchor: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says the U.S. is willing to talk to North Korea, although it will also keep up with its pressure campaign. The U.S. may be considering imposing one of the strongest sanctions possible on North Korea, a maritime interdiction. 
Alannah Hill has this report. 

Report: The United States says it is willing to take a two-track approach towards North Korea: pressure and engagement at the same time.

In an interview with the Washington Post aboard Air Force Two on his way back home from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify, but if the North wants to talk, the U.S. will. 

South Korea and the U.S. had been out of step, with Seoul wanting inter-Korean Olympic talks to lead to real negotiations while Washington stuck to its pressure campaign. 

But the Washington Post said Sunday that a breakthrough came after Moon assured Pence he would be clear with North Korea that it wouldn't get economic or diplomatic benefits just for talking, only if it takes concrete steps toward denuclearization. 

After North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister delivered Kim's invitation to Moon to visit Pyongyang, Moon proposed creating an environment that is conducive for inter-Korean talks. That environment likely refers to seeking talks between the U.S. and North Korea as well as securing the support of the U.S, China, Russia and Japan. 

In the mean time, however, the U.S. is reportedly considering strong sanctions against North Korea that include a "maritime interdiction." 

A diplomatic source said Monday that the U.S. has accumulated considerable data on illicit ship-to-ship transfers between North Korean ships and foreign vessels on the high seas through satellite tracking and information sharing. The source said the U.S. has also detected scenes of trafficking and that it is determined to block such movements.   

The new sanctions are likely to target North Korean ships as well as foreign vessels from China and Taiwan doing business with the North.  
Alannah Hill, KBS World Radio News.

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