NKorea’s leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday he want to extend his Summitry with President Trump into Y 2019.
During his televised New Year’s speech, Chairman Kim said he is ready to meet with President Trump at any time to produce an outcome “welcomed by the international community.”
He told his countrymen that the North will be forced to take a different path if the United States “break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure.”
Chairman Kim also said the United States should continue to halt its joint military exercises with ally SKorea and not deploy strategic military assets to the South.
He made a nationalistic call urging for stronger inter-Korean cooperation and said the North is ready to resume operations at a jointly run factory park in the NKorean border town of Kaesong and restart SKorean tours to the North’s Diamond Mountain resort. Neither of those is possible for SKorea unless sanctions are removed.
Chairman Kim used his New Year’s speech a year ago to start a newfound diplomatic approach with Seoul and Washington, which led to 3 Summits with SKorean President Moon Jae-in and a historic June Summit with President Trump in Singapore.
Chairman Kim also met 3X with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which boosted his leverage by reintroducing Beijing, Pyongyang’s main ally, as a major player in the diplomatic process to resolve the nuclear standoff.
Nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled in recent months as they struggle with the sequencing of NKorea’s disarmament and the removal of US-led sanctions against the North.
Washington and Pyongyang have not yet reschedule a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior NKorean officials after the North canceled it at the last minute in November.
There are views that NKorea wants a 2nd Summit because it thinks it can win major concessions from President Trump that they probably could not get from lower-level US officials, who are more adamant about the North committing to inspections and verification.