North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he is open to a third summit with President Donald Trump, but set the year’s end as a deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy, the state-run media said Saturday.
Kim made the comments during a speech Friday at a session of the North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, which made a slew of personnel changes that bolstered his diplomatic lineup amid stalemated negotiations with the United States. His speech came hours after Trump and visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in met in Washington and agreed on the importance of nuclear talks with North Korea.
“We of course place importance on resolving problems through dialogue and negotiations. But U.S.-style dialogue of unilaterally pushing its demands doesn’t fit us, and we have no interest in it,” Kim said during the speech.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, he blamed the collapse of his summit with Trump in February on what he described as unilateral demands by the United States, which he said raised questions over whether Washington has genuine willingness to improve relations. But Kim said his personal relationship with the American president remains good and that they could exchange letters at “any time.”
Kim repeated earlier claims that North Korea’s crippled economy would persevere through heavy international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program and that he wouldn’t “obsess over summitry with the United States out of thirst for sanctions relief.”
The United States has said the summit in Vietnam broke down because of the North’s excessive demands for sanctions relief in return for limited disarmament measures. In their first summit last June in Singapore, Trump and Kim issued a vague statement calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when and how it would occur.