Amid a reported stalemate in denuclearization talks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said he’s prepared to meet President Donald Trump for a second summit.
During during his traditional televised New Year’s address, Kim said he was ready “at any time in the future” to meet with Trump again, but he also criticized the U.S. for its sanctions, and issued a warning if sanctions continued.
“If the United States takes sincere measures and corresponding action to our leading and pre-emptive efforts, then (U.S.-North Korea) relations will advance at a fast and excellent pace through the process of implementing (such) definite and groundbreaking measures,” said Kim, according to the Associated Press.
Kim praised the first summit held with Trump in June 2018, saying the two held “fruitful talks” and “exchanged constructive ideas.”
“It is the unwavering position of our party and the republic’s government and my firm will that the two countries as declared in the June 12 joint statement … take steps to establish a permanent and stable peace regime and push toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” he said.
“Therefore, we have already declared domestically and internationally and took various actions showing our commitment that we will no further create or test nuclear weapons and will not use or spread them,” he added.
Trump responded to Kim’s call for a meeting, tweeting Tuesday, “I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!”
“Kim Jong Un says North Korea will not make or test nuclear weapons, or give them to others – & he is ready to meet President Trump anytime.” PBS News Hour. I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
Kim also used his address to call on the U.S. to cease its joint military exercises in South Korea, and declared that the U.S. “continues to break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushing ahead with sanctions and pressure.”
He warned that North Korea could pursue a “new path” in talks with the U.S. if they do not alleviate some of the sanctions waged on North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un affirmed his apparent commitment to denuclearization but says that might change if the US continues its “one-sided demands” https://t.co/cfI79MxT18 pic.twitter.com/K0JwN8A1E3
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) January 1, 2019
North Korean leaders have echoed similar complaints in recent months as denuclearization talks have stalled. They’ve asserted that the U.S. is inflexible with its sanctions while North Korea is the only side making concessions in the negotiations.
Talks of a second summit between the two leaders have been bubbling for several months.
In November, Trump said the summit would take place “early next year.” Previously, he said the summit would be held after the November mid-term elections due to his rigorous travel schedule as he campaigned for candidates.
In October, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Kim to begin planning the details for the second summit.
At the time, Trump had noted that the next summit with Kim would be in “probably a different location” than Singapore, where their June 2018 summit took place. It was there that the two leaders agreed to North Korea’s “complete and verifiable” denuclearization.