North Korea sanctions remain until complete denuclearisation, says US

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with a senior North Korean official in Moscow on Thursday and invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia.

We've known for a while now that Trump's statements can have significant power to shape the views of his supporters (and his opponents, who tend to shy away from agreeing with him). But in the wake of Trump's meeting, it's Republicans who are most open to the idea ― they're 36 points likelier than Democrats to say USA leaders should meet with North Korean officials, although a majority in both parties are supportive. He added that the response was "almost immediate".

With only a flimsy deal so far agreed, Wang Sheng, a professor of Korean affairs at Jilin University in northeastern China, said that it was now vital for the USA and North Korea to keep talking.

"It is North Korea-through its nuclear and missile programs, aggressive behavior, and egregious human rights violations-that poses the greatest threat to peace".

Trump later told a news conference he would end joint US-South Korean military exercises.

In further explaining his reasons for suspending major exercises, Trump said they "cost a fortune", though even the Pentagon, which foots the bill for US participation in all such manoeuvrs, has been unable to say what they cost. "We are going to get complete denuclearization". He also wanted to bask in the glory of his own "achievement" vis-à-vis North Korea, about which both his opponents and supporters were highly sceptical.

Human rights activists - and the US government - have also admonished the North Korean regime for its long record of detaining and punishing thousands of people in prison camps.

Japan has reacted to Trump's plan to cancel military exercises with South Korea with concern, saying the drills were vital for east Asian security.

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The priority for Washington has always been the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement" (CVID) of North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

As ambassador, Harris said he would be wary of China's using the thaw with North Korea to press for the early lifting of sanctions against North Korea and the removal of the Army's THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile system from South Korea.

He said Pyongyang was committed to giving up its nuclear programme.

In a statement, McCain argued against President Donald Trump's decision to concede on the issue.

A US official told AFP that "major military exercises have been suspended indefinitely on the Korean peninsula".

The Russian leader praised the historic meeting between the USA and North Korea, adding it was "without doubt just the first step towards a full-blown settlement".

Japanese news media have reported that officials are seeking a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong Un.

The Korean Central Television documentary also showed crowds of cheering people as Mr Kim left Pyongyang, and the leader aboard his Air China flight.

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