UN sanctions chief calls on members to lift travel ban on North Korean official for...

유엔 대북제재위 "최휘 제재면제 승인해달라"…회원국에 요청

The UN is set to grant a North Korean official exemption from sanctions for the Winter Olympics.
The request to lift the travel ban comes from Seoul, describing it as an opportunity to reduce tension in the region.
Kwon Jang-ho has the details.
The head of the UN committee on North Korea sanctions has called on members of the Security Council to approve an exemption for Choe Hwi, a senior North Korean official, for the PyeongChang Olympics, at Seoul's request.
Ambassador Karel Van Oosterom of the Netherlands, who chairs the meeting, has sent a letter for approval to all the members, which will be granted if there are no objections by Thursday 3PM Eastern Standard Time.

Choe is the chairman of Pyongyang's National Sports Guidance Committee... but also headed the regime's propaganda department previously.
He has been on a UN sanctions blacklist since June last year, which banned him from traveling and froze his assets.

The official was included in North Korea's Olympics delegation list provided by Pyongyang on Tuesday.
Seoul formally requested that the UN allow all members of the proposed delegation to come, saying that it will, quote, "serve as a timely opportunity to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula and beyond."

However, this request comes at a time when the international community's main policy on the regime is pressure and sanctions, and with North Korea showing no interest in giving up its nuclear program.
The move to lift sanctions on Choe opens up the Moon administration to criticism of pandering to Pyongyang, but the potential outcomes mean it's a risk Seoul is willing to take.

"If, through these efforts,... steps are made toward North Korea's denuclearization, or leading to lasting peace on the Peninsula, then for the Moon administration it would be worth it. How they are judged will depend on the gains they make after PyeongChang."

If the expected greenlight is given, Choe will join other officials in the delegation that will arrive in South Korea on Friday.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.

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