Kim Jong Un Issues U.S

Kim Jong-un and President Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June

Kim Jong-un and President Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June

Kim spoke sitting in a dark leather armchair, in a large office lined with packed bookshelves and paintings of his predecessors, father Kim Jong Il and grandfather Kim Il Sung.

His previous New Year's addresses had taken place in more formal settings, with Kim standing at a podium.

It was in last year's New Year's message that Mr Kim announced North Korea would take part in the Winter Olympics hosted by the South, which led to a thaw in relations.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared his "strong will" towards denuclearisation in his annual New Year's Day address, but warned that he could "seek a new path" if the United States misjudges his patience.

During his annual televised New Year's speech, the North Korean leader said he hopes a follow-up summit meeting will "produce an outcome welcomed by the worldwide community".

TV screens show US President Donald Trump, right, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

He also urged the United States to take "sincere measures and corresponding action" in response to alleged peace initiatives undertaken by the North Korean government. Over the past year, the North destroyed a nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri in the presence of global reporters, returned the remains of USA soldiers killed during the 1950-53 Korean War and released detained United States citizens. Trump wrote quoting PBS News Hour. "A year ago, he spoke about nuclear weapons nearly in terms of bragging - that North Korea had now achieved the possession of a nuclear arsenal".

-North Korea denuclearization talks remain at an impasse months after a landmark June summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore.

Kim has previously said he would close the Yongbyon nuclear facility, where North Korea is believed to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons, if Washington takes what it calls "corresponding measures".

It came after a year of high tensions when the North made rapid progress with its weapons development, carrying out its sixth nuclear test - by far its most powerful to date - and launching rockets capable of reaching the entire USA mainland. The North is pushing in turn for measures from the U.S., like the easing of economic sanctions.

He also called for an end to joint military drills between the USA and South Korea and said no strategic military assets should be brought onto the Korean peninsula.

This year's speech drew intense attention, coming as U.S. China has been the key benefactor for North Korea's economy.

There is an underlying intention to strengthen ties with China in line with Beijing's celebration of the 70th anniversary of communist China's founding, coupled with 70 years of the two nations' diplomatic ties, the think tank affiliated with the South's National Intelligence Service said. The use of the "treasured sword" construction, which had previously been associated mainly with the country's nuclear weapons program, could be seen as a sign of the seriousness of Kim's claimed shift in focus from nukes to the North's economy.

Former U.S. intelligence analyst and Stimson Center fellow Robert Carlin told the Wall Street Journal that Kim's declaration was the first of its kind from North Korea in a quarter century.

He emphasized that the all the agreements reached during last year's three inter-Korean summits carry "significant meaning" in that they could be regarded as non aggression treaty between the Koreas.

"It means the two projects will be key agenda items concerning inter-Korean relations this year", the INSS report said. Since then, North Korea has returned remains of USA 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. North Korea has ceased its provocative ballistic missile tests in recent months.

The North has also bristled at USA demands to provide a detailed account of nuclear and missile facilities that would be inspected and dismantled under a potential deal.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.