Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Trump wants to keep NKorea sanctions, won’t rule out summit

GettyImages-530309966 North Korea's Kim Jong Un gives U.S. to year-end to become more flexible
Jeannette Daniel | 16 April, 2019, 02:36

"First of all, it is necessary for the United States to stop the current way of calculation and approach us with a new way of calculation", Kim said in Pyongyang at the first meeting of the 14th session of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, KCNA reports.

Following the stand-off the North Korean leader blamed the U.S. president and insisted he was "not really ready to sit with us face-to-face and solve the problem".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is willing to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump for a third time for nuclear talks - if Washington comes to the table with the "correct posture" - but laid down a year-end deadline "for a bold decision from the U.S".

Trump and Kim held their first landmark summit in Singapore last June, where the pair signed a vaguely-worded agreement on the "denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will give the USA 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. "But US-style dialogue of unilaterally pushing its demands doesn't fit us, and we have no interest in it", Mr Kim said during a speech to the North Korean Parliament.

He also set the U.S. a deadline of "until the end of this year" to demonstrate that new talks could be more productive.

In February, Trump left Hanoi earlier than planned, with no joint agreement or statement after Kim insisted all USA sanctions be lifted from his country.

Mr Kim blamed the collapse of his summit with Mr Trump in February on what he described as unilateral demands by the United States, which he said raised questions over whether Washington had genuine willingness to improve relations.

According to the KCNA, Kim dismissed the need for "preoccupation with the summit with the USA due to a thirst for the lifting of sanctions".

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"There are various smaller deals that could happen", Trump said "You could work out step-by-step pieces, but at this moment we're talking about the big deal".

Negotiations on Pyongyang's nuclear program appear to be stalled, and there is uncertainty over whether Kim is considering backing out of talks or restarting nuclear and missile tests.

The DPRK leader also accused Washington of "openly forcing the South Korean authorities to "control speed" and moving in every way to subordinate the implementation of the north-south agreement to its policy of sanctions and pressure on the DPRK".

North Korea also replaced the premier of its Cabinet, an official at the center of efforts to jumpstart the economy.

In an expected move, KCNA also reported that Kim Jong Un has been re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission.

"The South should not act as an "overstepping mediator" or a "facilitator" and should rather get its mind straight as a member of the (Korean) nation and boldly speak up for the interest of the nation", Kim said.

North Korean officials have since expressed a readiness to resume the nuclear and ballistic missile program if the USA continues its aggressive policy toward the nation.

In the months since Hanoi, there have been no known follow-up negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

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