Kang Kyung-wha, foreign minister of the Republic of Korea, speaks at the National Assembly in Seoul, Oct 10, 2018. Kang says Seoul is considering lifting some of its unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang to create more momentum for diplomacy aimed at improving relations and defusing the nuclear crisis. (HWANG KWANG-MO/YONHAP VIA AP)
SEOUL – The Republic of Korea’s foreign ministry is "reviewing with relevant ministries" the situation for lifting the country's standalone sanctions slapped against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) eight years ago.
The ROK independent sanctions were slapped in May 2010 after a ROK navy corvette sank in waters in what Seoul claimed was a DPRK torpedo attack
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha disclosed this after being asked about it by Lee Hae-chan, chief of the ruling Democratic Party, during a parliamentary inspection of government offices in the National Assembly.
The ROK independent sanctions, called May 24 measures, were adopted in May 2010 by the then Lee Myung-bak administration after a ROK navy corvette sank in waters in what Seoul claimed was a DPRK torpedo attack.
The DPRK has denied any involvement in the incident.
READ MORE: DPRK, ROK call for end to war on peninsula
The government of former President Park Geun-hye, Lee's successor, closed down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong over Pyongyang's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.
The industrial zone was the last remaining inter-Korean economic cooperation project after the May 24 measures severed all economic ties of the two Koreas.
In this April 24, 2018 file photo, the Kaesong industrial complex in the DPRK is seen from the Taesungdong freedom village inside the demilitarized zone during a press tour in Paju, ROK. (LEE JIN-MAN / AP)
Talking on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on Wednesday, Kang said the denuclearization dialogue should continue with measures to build trust as the biggest obstacle to the denuclearization is a distrust of the DPRK by the United States and the international society.
Kang said corresponding actions should be taken to build trust and to encourage the DPRK to take measures it has promised.
Under the Pyongyang Declaration, signed by ROK President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un after their third summit in Pyongyang in September, the DPRK expressed its willingness to take additional actions such as the permanent dismantlement of its main Yongbyon nuclear facility, if the United States takes corresponding measures.
The DPRK agreed to permanently dismantle its key missile engine test site and launch pads under the observation of experts from relevant countries.
HONG KONG NEWS