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SEOUL (Reuters) – Tough sanctions will remain on North Korea until its complete denuclearization, the U.S. secretary of state said on Thursday, apparently contradicting the North's view that the process agreed at this week's summit would be phased and reciprocal.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a joint statement after their Singapore meeting that reaffirmed the North's commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", while Trump "committed to provide security guarantees".
Trump - News - Conference - Exercises
Trump later told a news conference he would end joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
"President Trump has been incredibly clear about the sequencing of denuclearization and relief from the sanctions," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters after meeting South Korea's president and Japan's foreign minister in Seoul.
Denuclearization - Relief - Sanctions
"We are going to get complete denuclearization; only then will there be relief from the sanctions," he said.
North Korean state media reported on Wednesday Kim and Trump had recognized the principle of "step-by-step and simultaneous action" to achieve peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.
Summit - Statement - Details - North - Korea
The summit statement provided no details on when North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons program or how the dismantling might be verified.
Skeptics of how much the meeting achieved pointed to the North Korean leadership's long-held view that nuclear weapons are a bulwark against what it fears are U.S. plans to overthrow it and unite the Korean peninsula.
President - Moon - Jae-In - World - Summit
However, South Korean President Moon Jae-In said the world, through the summit, had escaped the threat of war, echoing Trump's upbeat assessment of his meeting with Kim.
"What's most important was that the people of the world, including those in the United States, Japan and Koreans, have all been able to escape the threat of war, nuclear weapons and missiles," Moon told Pompeo.
Pompeo - North - Korea
Pompeo insisted North Korea was committed to giving up its nuclear arsenal but...
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