Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

North Korea to Trump: Don't test us

North Korea to Trump: Don't test us

However, according to ABC News, Kim also warned that North Korea would take a "new path" if the United States opts to "break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure".

Kim urged the U.S.to take "sincere measures and corresponding action" in response to North Korea's peace initiatives. The North Korean leader appeared to be gearing up to portray the USA as the obstacle to progress.

However, he warned that North Korea might be "compelled to explore a new path" to defend its sovereignty if the United States "seeks to force something upon us unilaterally. and remains unchanged in its sanctions and pressure".

Mr Kim and Mr Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June but, despite a great deal of hype, the resulting agreements were vague on how denuclearisation would be achieved. Instead of standing on a podium, Kim delivered a speech sitting on a couch in a Western-style room, illustrating an image of an approachable leader in a fireside chat.

"This whole diplomatic process is not the way the US does diplomacy, but it is the way Asia tends - is more comfortable doing diplomacy as well, this leader-driven, kind of piece by piece, small commitments at a time, to build this relationship and build a track record and build trust as you move towards a mutual goal", she said. It also agreed to dismantle a satellite launch facility and destroyed the tunnels at its former nuclear weapons test site.

There was no immediate comment from the White House, Reuters reported.

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

-South Korean alliance with their military cooperation coming under pressure from Pyongyang, Seoul's process for inter-Korean engagement, and Washington's current inability to reach an agreement on cost-sharing for the US military presence in South Korea.

In a closely watched New Year address, Kim Jong-un, the 30-something leader of the world's most secretive regime, expressed hope for more talks with Donald Trump about that often repeated word: denuclearisation.

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Kim and Trump vowed to work towards denuclearisation and build "lasting and stable" peace at their landmark summit in Singapore in June, but little progress has been made since. North Korea has ceased its provocative ballistic missile tests in recent months.

Kim's remarks were "apparently created to revive the momentum of the negotiations", South Korea's centrist Hankook Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial Wednesday.

As both sides struggle to find a breakthrough in stalled talks, the speech shows Kim shifting the focus from calls for complete dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal and hinting at including countries other than the United States.

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

Last year's rapprochement came after a turbulent 2017 marked by North Korea testing missiles that could reach the United States mainland and an escalation in rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington with both sides trading insults and threats of nuclear destruction.

Seoul and Washington are in a security alliance and the United States stations 28,500 troops in the South to protect it against its neighbour, which invaded in 1950.

The hardening stalemate has fuelled doubts on whether Kim will ever voluntarily relinquish the nuclear weapons and missiles he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. Washington and Pyongyang appear to have interpreted what exactly this means differently. "A deadlock in US-North Korea talks is likely to continue for now".

Washington and Pyongyang have yet to reschedule a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials after the North canceled it at the last minute in November.

The North Korean leader "obviously had certain expectations that the USA would take certain steps - however rudimentary they are - after the North blew up a nuclear test site and took other steps".

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