Korea could consider change of tack

Korea could consider change of tack

Korea could consider change of tack

President Trump and Kim Jong Un met in June for a much-ballyhooed summit aimed at achieving a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Since then, North Korea has returned remains of US service members who were killed in North Korea, stopped nuclear missile testing, shut down down the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, begun dismantling some key facilities at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station, and offered the option for inspections.

"I am always ready to sit down again with the USA president at any time and will make efforts to produce an outcome that the global community would welcome", Mr Kim said.

Kim also called for active pursuit of multilateral negotiations among countries involved in the truce agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War to discuss replacing the armistice deal with a peace treaty, which he said will lay the groundwork for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

He was willing to meet Trump at any time, he said.

Specifically, Kim said North Korea would resume two now halter construction projects in partnership with North Korea, Kaesong industrial park and Mount Kumgang tourist resort. The American side would have an easier time reorganising the sanctions, since China and Russian Federation have based their arguments for easing penalties on the suspension of such tests.

Culminating in late 2017, the North has carried out 6 atomic blasts and launched rockets capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland, but has now carried out no such tests for more than a year.

Dressed in a Western style suit, Kim spoke from a dark leather armchair in an office lined with packed bookshelves and paintings of his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather Kim Il Sung - a setting that resembled more intimate addresses from the White House by the USA president.

The leader's New Year speech is a key moment in the North Korean political calendar, reviewing the past and setting out goals for the future.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made several trips to Pyongyang previous year but the two sides have yet to reschedule a meeting between him and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol after an abrupt cancellation in November. Mr Kim's representatives have passed up a series of opportunities to start working-level talks with their American counterparts in recent weeks, including a Seoul visit last month by nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun.

'Ice man' Vladimir Putin plays hockey in Red Square
Russian Federation and the U.S. have never seen eye-to-eye on several issues. Since then, the Kremlin has repeatedly said it is open to dialogue.

While the State Department decided not to comment on it, President Donald Trump was more candid, expressing hopes of holding another summit with the regime's leader. The content of the correspondence, which was reported on Monday by the Seoul-based Chosun newspaper, was unclear.

Kim also during his New Year's speech on Tuesday said the United States should continue to halt its joint military exercises with ally South Korea and not deploy strategic military assets to the South.

The new look also comes in the wake of three summits - two at the border town Panmunjom and the latest in Pyongyang - with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Cheong added.

Victor Cha, senior adviser and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, noted the timing of the speech.

"Chairman Kim's strong determination will be positive for smoothly resolving the Korean issue in the new year", said Mr Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui Keum.

The speech concludes with Kim urging for peace with surrounding nations. Still, he made a rare acknowledgment of the problems facing his regime, including a lack of adequate power.

But his message came with a warning - if the U.S. persists with sanctions on the country, North Korea may "be left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests".

Kim said he wanted to restart a joint economic zone in Kaesong and a joint tourism project at Mount Kumgang in the North "without preconditions".

Related news