In new year message, Kim Jong-Un warns of ‘new path’ if US sanction stays

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has, in his New Year speech on Tuesday, said he is willing to have denuclearization talks with the United States president in 2019, but warned to opt a “new path” if Washington keep trying to impose its sanctions on Pyongyang.

According to news reports, Kim said he could meet the US President Donald Trump “at any time” to produce any outcome that would be “welcomed by the international community.” However, Kim said the county would have “no option but to explore a new path in order 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”.

Kim urged the US to continue its halt over joint military exercise with South Korea and said to not deploy its strategic military aids to the South.

During their meeting in Singapore in June, Trump and Kim had signed a “vaguely worded statement” where the North committed to “denuclearization”, though it went stalled over disagreements.

According to their agreements, Pyongyang demanded Washington to lift sanctions and declare its official end to the 1950-53 Korean war, while Washington asked to demonstrate its commitment of denuclearization.

Referring to inter-Korean rapprochement, Kim said: “Now that North and South Korea decided on the path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war weapons such as outside strategic assets should be completely stopped.”

Director of defence studies at the Center for the National Interest, in Washington, Harry Kazianis said Kim’s speech was “clearly willing to engage in dialogue while working towards denuclearization with Washington and Seoul – but on its terms”.

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