Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kim ready to meet Trump if USA changes stance

Kim ready to meet Trump if USA changes stance

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un takes part in the 4th Plenary Meeting of the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in Pyongyang in this April 10, 2019 photo released on April 11, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

At a meeting with South Korean President Moon in Washington on Thursday, Trump expressed a willingness to hold a third summit with Kim but said that Washington would leave sanctions in place on Pyongyang. "But US-style dialogue of unilaterally pushing its demands doesn't fit us, and we have no interest in it", Kim said during the speech.

"We are willing to give another try if the U.S. offers to have a third summit with the right attitude and mutually acceptable terms", he said, according to a report by North Korean state media outlet KCNA.

In his most recent comments, reported by KCNA, Mr Kim said the summit had created a "strong doubt" in him over whether the U.S. genuinely wanted to improve relations.

Mr. Kim repeated earlier claims that North Korea's crippled economy would persevere through heavy global sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program and that he wouldn't "obsess over summitry with the United States out of thirst for sanctions relief".

Kim added that his personal relationship with Trump remained strong, adding they could "write letters to each other" whenever they wanted.

He made the remarks in a speech on the second day of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly meeting on Friday, according to the KCNA.

The North Korean leader said he would give the United States until the end of the year to make a "courageous decision" over any new summit plans.

Analysts viewed Friday's announcements as the biggest shake-up in North Korean government in years, a consolidation of power that clearly separated Kim Jong-un's regime from that of his father for the first time.

However, the North Koreans disputed the United States account of how the negotiations broke down. South Korean analysts believe Choe is being positioned to supervise North Korea's top diplomats since one of his titles is vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission, a position his predecessor did not hold.

Some experts say it's becoming clear the North intends to turn the talks with the United States into a bilateral arms reduction negotiation between two nuclear states, rather than a unilateral process of surrendering its arsenal.

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