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South Korea is an independent state and does not need U.S. approval to lift unilateral sanctions from North Korea, a security adviser to South Korean president said.

According to Yonhap website, in an interview with the JoongAng Monthly Magazine, Moon Chung-in said that South Korea-U.S. relations should be viewed from the perspective of a sovereign state interacting with another sovereign state.

“The word ‘approval’ is wrong. Instead, ‘consultation and consensus’ is proper. He should have said South Korea won't lift sanctions without U.S. consultation and consensus,” the adviser said, referring to Trump's statement.

“(South Korea) is an independent, sovereign state. How can the U.S. president say so? Why do we have to just follow the U.S.? If so, are we a sovereign state?” Moon said.

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