May 23, 2018 / 7:15 PM / 3 months ago

U.N. Security Council approves North Korea travel to Singapore: diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A United Nations Security Council committee on Wednesday approved the travel of North Korean officials to Singapore for a June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and planning meetings, diplomats said.

The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

In a May 16 letter to the Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, seen by Reuters, Singapore asked for a blanket waiver for the participation of North Korean delegations. The 15-member committee operates by consensus.

The letter did not list which officials were expected to visit Singapore. The Security Council has imposed a global asset freeze and travel ban on 80 individuals under a sanctions regime it has unanimously strengthened several times since 2006 in a bid to choke funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Singapore described the summit as “an opportunity to advance the objective of a peaceful resolution of the DPRK (North Korea) nuclear issue and the establishment of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region.”

In February the Security Council sanctions committee granted approval for a North Korean delegation, specifically U.N.-sanctioned senior official Choe Hwi, to travel to South Korea for the opening of the Winter Olympics.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by James Dalgleish

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