Published: Sat, April 13, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

North Korean leader open to third Trump summit: KCNA

North Korean leader open to third Trump summit: KCNA

On Friday, the KCNA reported that Mr. Kim was reelected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the nation's most important decision-making body, during a session of the Supreme People's Assembly that praised his "outstanding ideological and theoretical wisdom and experienced and seasoned leadership".

Kim also said his relations with Trump remain excellent and he will wait patiently "until the end of this year" for Washington to make "courageous" decisions in negotiations between the two countries.

Trump this week said he is considering another meeting with Kim, but insisted the USA would not relax sanctions until North Korea gives up its nuclear arsenal.

Trump said Thursday he was mulling a third summit with Kim ahead of a meeting with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in at the Oval Office - a move supported by Seoul.

"The US said recently that it is thinking again of a third DPRK-US summit and have been strongly implying problem-solving through dialogue", Kim continued.

Kim said that despite his good relationship with Trump, he would only be interested in attending a third summit if it offered concrete solutions to the dispute.

Kim said the United States "is further escalating the hostility to us with each passing day despite its suggestion for settling the issue through dialogue".

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The umbrella group spearheading the protests has meanwhile appealed to the army for talks on forming a transitional government. State TV ceased regular broadcasts, showing only the statement promising the statement and urging the public to "wait for it".

Trump said on Thursday he was open to meeting Kim again, but in his speech on Friday, the North Korean leader said the outcome in Hanoi had forced him to question the strategy he embraced previous year of global engagement and economic development. He said the North would not compromise on the "fundamental interests of our country and people, even by a speck", and blamed the United States for arriving in Hanoi with "completely unrealizable plans". "But they continue to ignore the basic way of the new DPRK-US relations, including withdrawing hostile policies, and mistakenly believe that if they pressure us to the maximum, they can subdue us".

Kim said that he will wait "until the end of this year" for the United States to decide to be more flexible, according to KCNA. "But it will clearly be hard for a good opportunity like last time to come up".

Kim Yong-chol was considered a controversial choice for point man because he is held responsible for North Korea's attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010.

Kim Jong-un has appointed his closest political loyalist as North Korea's ceremonial head of state, consolidating his power and completing the transition to a new generation of leaders.

But the lack of substantial disarmament commitments from the North and the deepening impasse in nuclear negotiations have raised doubts on whether Kim would ever voluntarily relinquish an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

But North Korea has said it wants the begin to relax sanctions in exchange for gradual nuclear concessions.

North Korean officials have traditionally insisted that denuclearization means the USA reducing or eliminating its security commitment to South Korea, including removing nuclear-capable assets from the region.

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