US to maintain ‘maximum pressure’ on N.Korea

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Washington, June 6 (IANS) The US State Department said that a “maximum pressure campaign” will continue against North Korea although US President Donald Trump said last week he did not like the term.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said that “sanctions and the pressure campaign remains in place”, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Suggesting to the media not to “get bogged in the details”, Nauert said, “our pressure campaign, whatever it is you want to call it, remains firmly in place”.

“We will not pull back that pressure campaign” until North Korea “follows through on its pledge to denuclearise”, she said, adding “that is something we have been consistent upon in this administration”.

After meeting Kim Yong-chol, a high-ranking North Korean official, Trump had told the media on June 1 that he did not like the term “maximum pressure” as ties with North Korea have been improving.

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Nauert also said that the US government will not pay for the North Korea delegation’s stay during Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un, in Singapore on June 12.

“We’re not paying for their expenses,” she said, adding that the US has not asked other countries to “pay for this”.

When asked about whether South Korea President Moon Jae-in will go to Singapore for a trilateral meeting with Trump and Kim for the signing of a possible peace treaty, Nauert said that to her knowledge, Moon’s trip “has not come up” in the US conversations with South Korea and Japan.

Moon said recently that he had anticipation for the three-way summit to be held to declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

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Trump’s meeting with Kim has been tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. (Singapore time) on June 12 at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island.

–IANS

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