UN lifts travel ban for N. Koreans joining Kim-Trump summit

The White House on May 16, 2018 voiced hope the upcoming summit between North Korea's Kim Jong Un (left) and US President Donald Trump will proceed as planned, as Pyongyang threatened to pull out over US pressure for "unilateral nuclear abandonment." The comments from the North about the meeting, set for June 12 in Singapore, were the first sign of a hiccup after weeks of tentative rapprochement. (AFP photo)

UNITED NATIONS, United States — A UN Security Council committee has agreed to lift a travel ban on North Korean officials heading to Singapore for the planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un next month, diplomats said.

Singapore last week asked the sanctions committee to grant an exemption to the North Korean delegation attending the June 12 summit and taking part in preparatory meetings, according to the request seen by AFP.

“This summit will serve as an opportunity to advance the objective of a peaceful resolution of the DPRK nuclear issue and the establishment of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the region,” wrote Singapore’s UN Ambassador Burhan Gafoor to the committee.

The letter did not specify the size of the delegation from Pyongyang.

The UN sanctions blacklist for North Korea has 80 individuals and 75 entities which are subject to a global travel ban and an assets freeze.

The request for the blanket exemption to the global travel plan was approved on Wednesday after none of the council members raised objections.

Trump earlier said the fate of the summit will be decided next week as his aides traveled to Singapore to prepare the meeting and push for certain conditions to be met.

“There are certain conditions we want to happen. I think we’ll get those conditions. And if we don’t, we won’t have the meeting,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday.

The Security Council has imposed tough sanctions on North Korea that ban trade in commodities and severely restrict deliveries of oil vital to Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear program.

p: wjg