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Daily Trends Now


Seoul Welcomes Kim's New Year Address

Seoul Welcomes Kim's New Year Address

North Korea would have "no option but to explore a new path in order to protect our sovereignty" if the U.S. "miscalculates our people's patience, forces something upon us and pursues sanctions and pressure without keeping a promise it made in front of the world", Kim said.

In his closely watched New Year's address, Kim said he was ready to pursue an outcome that would be "welcomed by the worldwide community".

However, he added: "We could be left with no choice but to seek a new way if the USA does not make good on its promises, misjudge our patience, while seeking to force things unilaterally and clinging to..."

North Koreans' only had positive things to say about the New Year's speech.

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.

"Now that the North and the South have promised to seek the path of peace and prosperity, joint military exercises with foreign forces that give rise to tension on the Korean Peninsula should not be allowed anymore, and arms including strategic assets should not be brought in from outside anymore", he said.

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

He used last year's New Year's speech to start a newfound diplomatic approach with Seoul and Washington, which led to his meetings with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Mr Trump.

In December, Trump said that he hopes to meet Kim as soon as even this month or February, describing their relationship as "good" and even suggesting he might invite Kim to the White House.




But while Kim Jong Un says he wants to continue along the diplomatic path, the clear hint is that without some response from the United States, the rapprochement witnessed previous year may go into reverse.

In marked contrast with January 1, 2018, when he ordered mass production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, Kim said the North had "declared that we would no longer produce, test, use or spread our nuclear arsenal", calling for the U.S. to take "corresponding measures". Neither of those is possible for South Korea unless sanctions are removed.

Kim Jong-un making his New Year's address. He said he was willing to resume joint projects with the South, including reopening the Kaesong industrial park and Mount Kumgang resort, without conditions. He also pointed to a potential second meeting with Trump.

Kim also emphasized the development of the North Korean economy and, without elaborating, mentioned nuclear power as part of the country's plans to boost electricity production.

"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.

Mr Kim also met with President Moon three times last year - twice at the border truce village of Panmunjom and once in the North's capital Pyongyang - and at the weekend vowed to meet Moon "frequently" this year.

The North Korean leader is also indirectly demanding his neighbors to the South push the USA and U.N Security Council harder to lift sanctions in exchange for the two countries to resume inter-Korean cooperative projects, Cheong said. North Korea is known to have developed at least three nuclear plants, including a five-megawatt reactor at its main Yongbyon complex producing weapons-grade plutonium, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

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

In the clip, Trump claimed his government had taken steps to improve U.S. relations with North Korea.

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