Saturday, 13 April 2019 07:47

Kim Says He's Open to 3rd Summit with Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to make a "courageous decision" on stalled nuclear talks, warning of "very bleak and very dangerous" consequences if Washington does not change its approach.

Speaking to a session of North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament, Kim also said he is open to meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump "one more time," but only if the U.S. changes its attitude, according to North Korean state media.

Trump this week said he is considering another meeting with Kim, but insisted the U.S. will not relax sanctions until North Korea gives up its nuclear arsenal.

Officials attend the 14th Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea held at Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang, April 11, 2019.

The talks have been stalled since a February Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi ended in no deal. North Korean officials have since threatened to pull out of the talks and restart nuclear and missile tests.

Kim said his relationship with Trump remains "excellent." But he said the failure of the Hanoi summit raised doubts about talks with the U.S. and whether the Washington is really interested in improving relations.

The U.S. "was not ready to sit face to face and solve problems," Kim said, adding that he does not "desire to see another Hanoi summit."

”It seems like a positive message from the standpoint of possibly resuming the talks," says Dong-Yub Kim, a North Korea specialist at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies. "But it is difficult to get a good opportunity like in Hanoi."

It is not clear what "courageous decision" Kim wants the U.S. to make. In Hanoi, North Korea wanted the U.S. to relax U.N. sanctions in exchange for dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

Speaking alongside South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump on Thursday expressed openness to "smaller deals" with the North. But Trump said he is still looking for a wide-ranging agreement under which North Korea commits to completely dismantling its nuclear weapons.

At their first summit last year in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a vague statement to work toward the "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." However, U.S. officials have since conceded the two sides do not agree on what that phrase means.

North Korean officials have traditionally insisted that denuclearization means the U.S. reducing or eliminating its security commitment to South Korea, including removing nuclear-capable assets from the region.

The U.S. insists North Korea must unilaterally give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which violate United Nations resolutions.

North Korea has spent decades building up its nuclear program, which it views as a deterrent against the U.S.

(VOA)

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