UPDATED 7:04 AM PT — Thursday, January 10, 2019
South Korea is reportedly in favor of sanction exemptions for North Korea in order for the peninsula to restart joint economic projects. President Moon Jae-in made the comments Thursday as the two nations pushed to normalize relations.
In his New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to restart those stalled projects without preconditions. Those projects include a jointly-run factory complex in North Korea, and the opening of new tourist areas.
Doing so, however, would not be possible without willingness from the United Nations or U.S. to lift sanctions related to the effort.
“Considering the difficulties faced by South Korean businessmen of the Kaesong Industrial Park and the hopes of South Korean people who wish to visit our people’s great mountain, we are willing to resume the Kaesong Industrial Park and the tours to Mount Diamond with no preconditions or strings attached,” Kim stated.
The recent comments shows that Seoul will likely join Pyongyang in pushing for sanctions relief, but the move could strain ties with the U.S. The Trump administration wants to maintain sanctions until North Korea completely denuclearizes.