Kim ready to meet Trump if United States changes stance

Elias Hubbard
April 16, 2019

(The Hill) North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has laid down an end-of-year marker for the United States to agree to terms for a nuclear deal while signaling he may agree to a third summit with President Trump. "I think that sanctions right now are at a level that's a fair level".

Mr Choe replaces Kim Yong Nam, 91, who had served North Korea's two previous rulers: Kim Jong Un's father and grandfather. Trump said he would favor easing those sanctions at the right time but added: "This isn't the right time".

"We will wait for a bold decision from the USA with patience till the end of this year but I think it will definitely be hard to get such a good opportunity as the previous summit", Kim added. But between now and then, Trump seems unwilling to give them anything even for smaller deals. "The big deal is we have to get rid of nuclear weapons".

Responding to Mr Kim's speech, South Korea repeated its stance of promoting the talks.

Such action, the lawmakers said, will not only advance South Korea's national security interests by building trust with the North, but also those of the USA, "with the ultimate goal of resolving the nuclear crisis and creating a peaceful Korean Peninsula". "(North Korea) to its knees".

He is a second-generation revolutionary and personally knew the late Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un's father, for over 50 years, North Korea Leadership Watch said. But they haven't formally abandoned diplomacy.

The United States has said the summit in Vietnam broke down because of the North's excessive demands for sanctions relief in return for limited disarmament measures.

The timing of Kim's announcement looks significant.

Moon brokered the US-North Korea talks and has been pushing for the resumption of inter-Korean economic projects, but doing so would fall foul of global sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.

Kim's open expression of a desire for talks with Trump, albeit time-restricted, is expected to facilitate the resumption of the nuclear dialogue between the two countries that has been stalled since the Hanoi summit, observers said. In that case, North Korea will consider holding a third summit with President Trump sometime in the future, he explained. The biggest political development related to Korean peninsula issues was Thursday's Moon-Trump meeting. There is ongoing debate over whether harsh sanctions can pressure Kim to denuclearize or will keep him away from the negotiating table.

"However, the U.S. has taken a more hard-line stance since the Hanoi summit". He cited a United Nations panel of experts that warned on March 5 that there has been a "massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal" rendering the latest United Nations sanctions "ineffective".

The current USA policy of sanctions and pressure is "as foolish and unsafe an act as trying to put out fire with oil", he added. Prior to their leader's statements, North Korean officials had expressed their displeasure with the outcome in carefully managed press briefings in Hanoi and Pyongyang.

The weekslong saga following the Hanoi summit was marked by tensions, wild speculation and negative projections, as Pyongyang has restored a key long-range rocket launch site and continued running its uranium enrichment facility at the mainstay Yongbyon nuclear complex alongside its threat to suspend dialogue with Washington.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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