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Apr 23, 3:09 PM EDT

US won't ease sanctions without action by NKorea on nukes



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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says North Korea won't get sanctions relief until it takes "concrete action" toward denuclearization.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' comments Monday appeared to leave open the possibility of easing the U.S.-led "maximum pressure" campaign before North Korea had completely given up its nuclear weapons.

But Sanders said the U.S. wouldn't make the mistake of past administrations in taking the North Koreans "simply at their word." She said, "We've seen some steps in the right direction but we have a long way to go."

On Saturday, North Korea announced it will close its nuclear testing facility and suspend nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The North stopped short of suggesting it will give up its nuclear weapons or scale back its production of missiles and their related components.

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