Kim Jong-un's New Year’s Message Accuses US of breaking promises
The world saw no progress in the dialogue to end the conflict on the Korean peninsula between the US and DPRK in 2018.
The Guardian, UK newspaper published Kim Jong-un’s New Year ‘s speech which was also broadcast on Seoul TV for the first time.
The North Korean leader said he hopes to continue denuclearization talks with President Trump in 2019 but used his address to warn that he could be forced to take a “new path” if the US persists with sanctions against his regime.
Kim said he was willing to meet the US president “at any time” to produce an outcome that would be “welcomed by the international community”.
He added, though, that North Korea would have “no option but to explore a new path to protect our sovereignty” if Washington “continues to break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure”. He did not give details on what that “new path” might entail.
Kim Jong-un also said he plans to meet South Korea’s leader frequently in 2019.
Kim and Trump signed a vaguely worded statement committing the North to “denuclearization” during their first meeting in Singapore last June, but negotiations have since stalled over disagreements on the definition of denuclearization and which side should be the first to make concessions.
Pyongyang has demanded that Washington lift sanctions and declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean war while the US has urged the regime to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization.
In Tuesday’s televised address, Kim called on South Korea to end its joint military drills with the US – which have largely been halted since his summit with Trump – and not deploy strategic military assets to the South.
Reflecting on a year of inter-Korean rapprochement during which he held three summits with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, Kim said that since North and South Korea have decided on a path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces be discontinued and deployment of war weapons such as outside strategic assets be completely stopped.
This clearly shows that Pyongyang is “clearly willing to engage in dialogue while working towards denuclearization with Washington and Seoul – but on its terms”.