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China, Russia propose lifting N Korea sanctions

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 17, 2019 - Duration: 01:38s

China, Russia propose lifting N Korea sanctions

Statues, seafood and textiles were proposed exports to be taken off the North Korea sanctions lift on Monday.

Ryan Brooks reports.

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China, Russia propose lifting N Korea sanctions

China and Russia proposed lifting some UN sanctions on North Korea Monday.

That's according to a draft resolution to the UN Security Council seen by Reuters.

Russia says the move is meant to help along talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

It would take statues, seafood and textiles off the sanctions list.

All of them are moneymakers for the North, targeted by the UNSC to cut off funds for the country's nuclear program.

The North was famous for selling huge, socialist-style statues overseas, mainly to Africa and its made millions from seafood.

However, a US State Department official told Reuters now isn't the time to end sanctions, with the North threatening to escalate tensions and nuclear talks on ice.

Pyongyang's carries out a series of weapons tests in recent weeks and has put a year-end deadline for the U.S. to make concessions in talks.

And on Monday, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said more tests may be likely.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY MARK ESPER SAYING: "It is a concern, their rhetoric.

We have seen talk of tests.

I think that they will be likely if they don't feel satisfied.

I'm familiar with their tactics, with their bluster and I think we need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the Peninsula.

That is the best way forward and arguably the only way forward." As for the Security Council, it's not clear when or if the draft resolution to lift sanctions could see a vote.

A vote needs nine out of fifteen votes to pass plus no vetoes from the U.S. or allies Britain and France.

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