Gradual removal of sanctions against North Korea may start now at the second stage of implementation of the Russian-Chinese roadmap, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told TASS on Tuesday.
"We think that as US-North Korean dialogue progresses, we may start discussing, including on the platform of the UN Security Council, the issue of gradually lifting sanctions," Morgulov said. "This removal process should be proportionate to those steps that the sides will agree on," he added.
"Removal of sanctions, in my opinion, is already possible, at the second stage of [the implementation of] the Russian-Chinese roadmap," he claimed. "When the sides hold dialogue on improving and normalizing relations, I think we could already start talking about gradual and partial lifting of sanctions," he stated.
Commenting on North Korea's missile tests, Morgulov noted that "it is necessary to understand what kind of launches North Korea carries out." "It is obvious that those are short-range missiles. North Korea does not hold nuclear trials, as was promised, when Pyongyang agreed to observe a voluntary moratorium," the diplomat stressed.
Morgulov pointed out that "North Korea fulfills its promises that it made in the framework of the so-called dual freeze — stopping tests in exchange for stopping military drills." "That's why we really hope that the US and South Korea will also observe what is envisaged in the framework of the dual freeze, that is abstain from holding drills," he concluded.