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North Korea demanded relaxation of economic sanctions in talks with Secretary Pompeo

Asahi reported from Seoul on the disclosure by a source involved in U.S.-DPRK relations that when meeting with Secretary Pompeo in Washington earlier this month, DPRK Workers’ Party Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol demanded that the sanctions on his country be relaxed immediately on the grounds that Pyongyang has already taken a series of steps toward denuclearization. The daily conjectured that the Kim regime has little intention to make concessions at least until the summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un is held next month.  


In a related development, several national dailies took up a Washington Post story alleging that Russia offered to construct a nuclear power plant in North Korea in exchange for the Kim regime giving up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in a bid to exert influence over Pyongyang’s energy policy. According to the Japanese reports, the Russian ambassador to the DPRK dismissed the allegation on Wednesday by saying that building an atomic power plant without first modernizing the power transmission network would create a danger equivalent to the nuclear capabilities that Pyongyang possesses right now. 

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