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Kim Jong Un issues threats, calls for new summit with President Trump

Kim Jong Un issues threats, calls for new summit with President Trump”

"Kim Jong Un simply reaffirmed what we already know: that North Korea considers progress on denuclearization conditional on Washington providing sanctions relief", said Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who worked on North Korean issues.

Kim was willing to meet Trump again at any time "to produce a result that will be welcomed by the worldwide community". However, he said the North will be forced to take a different path if the United States "continues to break its promises and misjudges the patience of our people by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure".

Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest, said Kim had clearly shown that North Korea is willing to continue talks on denuclearization, "but on its terms".

The North Korean leader, who had been described by Trump as a "Little Rocket Man" with nuclear ambitions, humanized himself by taking a late night stroll on Singapore's modern streets the night before the summit that set off a social media firestorm.

As a gesture of good faith made in the hopes of encouraging action by North Korea, the United States likewise agreed to scale back joint military exercises with South Korea on the Korean peninsula.

There are also plans for Kim Jong-un to travel to the South's capital Seoul for another inter-Korean summit but again, those plans have not been confirmed yet.

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In the months since the historic summit, leaders from both countries, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have been trying to negotiate a second meeting between Trump and Kim.

"It was in my mind quite extraordinary all the attention [Kim] paid to the question of negotiations with the United States", Carlin said.

North Korea also has bristled at USA demands to provide a detailed account of nuclear and missile facilities that would be inspected and dismantled under a potential deal. The US can defend the sanctions regime through its veto on the UN Security Council and its influence over South Korea.

The Seoul government shut down the joint industrial complex at the North's border town of Kaesong in 2016 in retaliation for Pyongyang's nuclear and missile provocations at the time.

Trump did not specify what exactly he meant by North Korea's "great economic potential" but the current North Korean economy is bolstered by approximately 2.6 million modern slaves and what Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation dubbed the "brutal suppression of human potential" and lost human freedoms.

In the 30-minute speech, Kim spent more than 20 minutes highlighting his campaign to create a "self-reliant" economy despite a "harsh economic blockade".

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The United States has firmly insisted North Korea must achieve complete and verifiable denuclearization before sanctions will be lifted and views Pyongyang's disarmament measures to date as largely symbolic.

Last year's speech was seen as especially significant because it presaged North Korea's diplomatic opening in 2018, a shift to better relations with South Korea and a more positive worldwide outlook that appears set to continue in 2019, judging from Kim's latest address.

"Now that North and South Korea chose to take the path of peace and prosperity, we demand that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war equipment such as foreign strategic assets should be completely stopped", Kim was quoted as saying.

Mr Kim congratulated himself on his diplomatic activities during 2018, including meetings with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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 United States officials in its negotiations.

"There are views that North Korea wants a quick second summit because it thinks it can win major concessions from Trump that they probably couldn't from lower-level USA officials, who are more adamant about the North committing to inspections and verification", the New York Post observed.

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