UN exempts North Koreans meeting with Trump from sanctions
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. committee on Wednesday granted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s entire delegation an exemption from U.N. sanctions ahead of its scheduled trip to Singapore to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Singapore’s U.N. ambassador, Burhan Gafoor, asked the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea for a sanctions exemption for the delegation to attend the scheduled June 12 meeting as well as for “preparatory work for the summit.”
A deadline of 3 p.m. was set to raise objections and diplomats said none were received.
The exemption will directly affect anyone in the delegation who is on the U.N. sanctions blacklist and therefore is banned from traveling and subject to an asset freeze. It would also allow all delegation members to take home luxury goods whose import to North Korea is banned by the council.
Gafoor’s letter, sent Friday and obtained by The Associated Press, did not mention the names of any members of the delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name.
The sanctions committee can grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis for any reason consistent with the objectives of relevant Security Council resolutions.
In requesting the exemption, Gafoor said, “The summit will serve as an opportunity to advance the objective of a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue and the establishment of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the region.”
Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom of the Netherlands, who heads the North Korea sanctions committee, sent a proposed letter of approval to the sanctions committee, which includes all 15 members of the Security Council.
South Korea asked the committee for similar exemptions that were granted for the North Korean delegations which attended the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in February.