Additional sanctions exemptions are necessary if South and North Korea are to push in earnest for a project to modernize and reconnect their cross-border railways, a UN official was quoted as saying Wednesday.
The reported remark by a Dutch diplomat leading the UN Security Council committee on North Korea sanctions means that a recent sanctions waiver granted by the council is limited to a joint railway survey the two Koreas are scheduled to undertake before launching the main construction.
The unidentified diplomat was quoted by the Voice of America as saying that additional sanctions exemptions are needed if the railway projects involve the delivery of any goods subject to sanctions. Another UN Security Council official was quoted as saying that the recent waiver is only for the “survey mission.”
The recent sanctions waiver paved the way for the planned joint railway survey to go forward after weeks of delays. The two Koreas had agreed to start the survey in late October and hold a groundbreaking ceremony before the end of the year, but they have been delayed due to concerns about possible sanctions violations.
Following the UN’s waiver, the South proposed to the North that the two sides begin the joint survey later this week, but the North has not responded to the offer yet. (Yonhap)