Security Council tells Pompeo it wants concrete NKorea deeds

July 20, 2018 - 9:54 am

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Netherlands' U.N. ambassador said the Security Council made clear to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday that it wants to see "concrete actions and deeds" from North Korea to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom, who chairs the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea, told reporters that "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."

"But we're waiting for concrete actions and deeds on the ground," he said after Pompeo and South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha briefed the U.N.'s most powerful body behind closed doors at South Korea's U.N. Mission.

Kang stressed to reporters before the briefing that North Koreans made "a clear commitment on complete denuclearization repeatedly and, of course, very forcefully at the Singapore summit with President Trump, and we will hold them up to that commitment."

Van Oosterom said Pompeo and Kang delivered "a very clear message" at the briefing "that the political message to achieve complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula continues."

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

At the historic summit between Trump and Kim last month, both leaders agreed to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, without describing when and how it would occur.

Follow-up talks between Pompeo and North Korean senior officials in Pyongyang had a rocky start with North Korea accusing the United States of making "unilateral and gangster-like" demands.

Pyongyang for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its 28,500 troops from South Korea and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

Japan's U.N. Ambassador Koro Bessho, who is not on the council but attended the briefings, told reporters there were many questions and "I asked the Security Council to stay the course, and be united."

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