China, Russia urge lifting of some sanctions on N. Korea

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The proposal, in a draft resolution which surprised several diplomatic missions, suggested the Security Council lift a ban on North Korea exporting statues, seafood and textiles and was aimed at encouraging dialogue between the North and the US, Russia said.

Biegun's trip led to speculation he might try to salvage negotiations by reaching out to North Korea, or by publicly sending a message.

According to a copy of the document, obtained by TASS, the UN Security Council "shall adjust the sanction measures towards the DPRK as may be needed in light of the DPRK's compliance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions".

"The research successes being registered by us ... will be applied to further bolstering up the reliable strategic nuclear deterrent of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea", it added, using the North's official name.

North Korea has fired off a record number of short-range ballistic missile in recent months, and has threatened to withdraw Kim's 2-year-old freeze on tests of nuclear weapons and the longer-range missiles needed to carry them to the USA mainland.

That urges Washington to cease calling for Pyongyang to disarm its nuclear weapons.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump have met three times since June 2018, but no progress toward denuclearization has been made and Kim has given Trump until the end of 2019 to show flexibility.

The North Korean leader sees less of a reason to abide by his unilateral moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests in this environment and has threatened through his subordinates that the testing freeze could be lifted if Washington doesn't begin making moves to improve the bilateral relationship.

Indeed, China and Russian Federation explicitly called for a return to the Six-Party Talks in their jointly-crafted U.N. Security Council Resolution, an assurance that a North Korean request to broaden the number of participants would have the support of these two key stakeholders.

The US, Britain and France have insisted that no United Nations sanctions should be lifted until North Korea gives up its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We're watching North Korea - we're watching many places, actually, very closely.

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Biegun is in South Korea to try to salvage talks between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the dictator set an end-of-year deadline for the United States to provide terms for a deal.

Biegun said that he is "fully aware of the strong potential for North Korea to conduct a major provocation in the days ahead" but warned that "such an action will be most unhelpful in achieving a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula".

On Wednesday, the US ambassador to the United Nations warned Pyongyang of consequences if it carries out missile tests in the new year.

But talks have stalled and Kim has given Trump until the end of the year to make concessions.

"Another crucial test was successfully conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground from 22:41 to 22:48" on Friday, the Korean Central News Agency reported, citing the Academy of Defense Science.

The Blue House spokesperson said in a statement that Moon noted Biegun's efforts toward denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace and requested the envoy continue such efforts toward advancing the Korean Peninsula peace process.

Tension has been rising in recent weeks, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course they had been on before launching diplomacy a year ago. Experts have said the anticipated launch could be an intercontinental ballistic missile test, or even a nuclear test.

North Korea's military chief, Pak Jong Chon, asserted that the North has built up "tremendous power" and that the findings from the recent tests would be used to develop new weapons to allow the country to "definitely and reliably" counter United States nuclear threats.

"I've been watching the Korean Peninsula for maybe a quarter of a century now".

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