Japan extends sanctions on N. Korea by 2 years


In Vietnam both sides expressed willingness to talk further and Trump has repeatedly said he maintains good relations with his North Korean counterpart. The more sinister take is that the bridge crossing signals a renewed Chinese determination to undermine USA sanctions against the regime in Pyongyang.

In a meeting with senior officials on Tuesday, Kim ordered them to display "an attitude befitting the masters of the revolution and construction under the prevailing tense situation and thus follow through on the new strategic line of the Party", KCNA reported.

Ties between the United States and North Korea have hit a roadblock over the ease of sanctions, where Pyongyang sought relief as a recognition of the steps taken towards denuclearisation.

Bloomberg Newsnoted the bridge was created to accommodate cargo vehicles as well, and the checkpoint includes a customs facility.

At a plenary session a year ago, Kim formally announced a "new strategic line" of focusing on economic progress and improving North Koreans' lives, rather than the previous two-pronged approach of both economic and nuclear weapons development.

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A bus carrying Chinese tourists crosses a new bridge linking the Chinese city of Jian, Jilin Province with North Korea's Manpo on Monday.

The abduction of Japanese citizens by North Korea remains one of the biggest issues between the two states. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been promising his people an economic renewal that would be almost impossible to achieve without loosening sanctions and repairing his somewhat strained relationship with China.

The comments made by Pompeo is in direct contrast to what US President Donald Trump had said.

The Hanoi summit underscored the divergence in US demands for North Korea's complete denuclearization and North Korean demands for sanctions relief. The bridge was completed in 2016 but the opening was delayed amid global sanctions against the North.