Kim says North Korea could take 'new path' if United States maintains sanctions

Kim says North Korea could take 'new path' if United States maintains sanctions

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned that his country could seek an alternative course if the United States misjudged its patience in denuclearisation talks.

Kim called his June summit meeting with Trump "instructive" and said they had shared "constructive opinions" on mutual concerns and "speedy solutions to the tangled issues" they faced.

"On part of the North Koreans, they see that they have improved the relationship, they have improved the atmosphere over the Korean peninsula, and they expect to see, at least, some easing of the sanctions and they are not seeing that", Andrew Leung, an worldwide and independent China specialist, told RT, speaking about Kim's warning he would seek a "new way" if the United States does not reciprocate.

North Korea has not responded to Washington's calls for senior working-level talks to follow up on the June 12 summit, apparently preferring to engage Trump rather than other USA officials in its negotiations.

After a flurry of diplomatic activity, in April Kim Jong-un met South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a summit at the inter-Korean border. Trump wrote quoting PBS News Hour.

The two Koreas technically remain at war because the conflict ended in a truce - signed by North Korea, the United States and China - not a peace treaty.


The comments are likely to fuel growing scepticism over whether Pyongyang intends to give up the nuclear weapons program that it has long considered essential to its security.

"He appeared more confident than ever, emboldened by some of the progress he made previous year, which also implies he thinks he has the upper edge in the negotiations with the United States as a nuclear-armed state", said Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul.

Culminating in late 2017, the North has carried out 6 atomic blasts and launched rockets capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland, but has now carried out no such tests for more than a year.

Last year's New Year's Day address came at a time of much greater tension, but Kim used that opportunity to balance tough talk with a rare olive branch to South Korea. Since then, North Korea has returned remains of US 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.

Trump said in December that he expected to meet Kim again early next year, though no date has been set, while North Korea has not taken any clear steps towards dismantling its nuclear weapons programme.

He also urged the U.S. to completely halt its suspended joint military exercises with ally South Korea.


But Kim's speech on Tuesday called for a "complete end" to all joint exercises and slammed the sanctions campaign.

"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", Kim said. Private analysts have accused North Korea of continuing nuclear and missile development, citing details from commercial satellite imagery. But other experts, including former South Korean nuclear envoy Lee Soo-hyuk, were skeptical that would happen given the deadlocked bilateral talks, the Sino-U.S. trade war and Trump's dislike for multinational mechanisms.

Kim has warned Washington not to test North Koreans' patience with sanctions and pressure.

He's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a professor at Georgetown University.

"North Korea seems determined in 2019 to receive some sort of sanctions relief".

As for Japan, it remains unclear if Kim is truly open to a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, though he hinted a year ago at the possibility "at an appropriate time", according to South Korea's Moon.


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