Pyongyang Returns to Kaesong Liaison Office after Trump Rescinded Treasury Sanctions
March 25, 2019 (EIRNS)—EIR reported in this space yesterday that North Korea on March 22 had announced that they were withdrawing their representatives from the Liaison Office between North and South Korea in Kaesong, set up in September to facilitate improving relations. It appeared that the withdrawal was ordered in retaliation for the new sanctions announced on March 21 by the U.S. Treasury. But, as EIR also reported, President Trump rescinded those sanctions on March 22, declaring them to be unnecessary.
Sure enough, this morning, the North Koreans showed up at the office as usual.
“The North Koreans said that they came down [to the liaison office] for the shift as usual,” according to a South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman, as reported in the Korean Herald. The spokesman also said that the North expressed unchanged commitment to run the office in accordance with the agreement signed by Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in, the leaders of two Koreas, during their summit at Panmunjeom in April last year, the Herald reports.
Projects now under discussion must be carried out within the restrictions imposed by the UN and U.S. sanctions. They include arranging for video reunions of families separated by the Korean War, and discussions between the two military forces to carry out the bilateral military accord aimed at reducing tensions and building trust.
Trump also deployed Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, to Beijing on March 24 to continue U.S.-China coordination regarding North Korea, according to the U.S. Embassy in China.