Trump Says South Korea Won't Lift Sanctions Without His Approval

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said South Korea won’t lift any of its sanctions on North Korea without his approval after officials in Seoul said they were reviewing the possibility of easing some of their own penalties against Pyongyang.

“Well, they won’t do it without our approval,” Trump said in the Oval Office on Wednesday when asked about reports Seoul is considering the idea. “They do nothing without our approval.”

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told lawmakers Wednesday that the ministry was consulting with other related authorities on whether to lift sanctions imposed on North Korea after the March 2010 sinking of South Korean naval ship Cheonan. The May 24, 2010 sanctions, also known as 5.24, banned South Koreans from traveling to and trading with North Korea and suspended aid to North Korea.

Kang made the comment in response to a lawmakers’ question about the sanctions.

The foreign ministry later issued a statement saying Kang’s comments did not mean there were “full-scale” reviews taking place. Rather, Kang was referring to having the “flexibility” to review the issue in context of the recent inter-Korean talks and in ways that would “not compromise” UN sanctions, the ministry said in a statement.

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