The hermit-kingdom despot used his New Year address to stage the intervention. He said there would be faster progress on denuclearisation if the United States took corresponding action. He also added he is willing to meet US President Donald Trump at any time to produce results the international community would welcome.
However Kim said on Tuesday while his resolve for complete denuclearisation remains unchanged, he may have to seek a “new path” if the United States continues to demand unilateral action from North Korea.
According to Kim, North Korea would have “no option but to explore a new path in order to protect our sovereignty” if the United States “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”.
It was not clear what “new path” the North Korean leader was referring to.
Kim and Trump vowed to work towards denuclearisation and build a “lasting and stable” peace regime at their landmark summit in Singapore in June, but both sides have since been struggling to make progress.
Pyongyang has demanded Washington lift sanctions and declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War in response to its initial, unilateral steps toward denuclearisation, including dismantling its only known nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.
Kim also called for South Korea to “completely stop” joint military drills with the United States involving strategic assets, while multilateral negotiations should be pursued to build a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
The North Korean dictator said: “Now that North and South Korea decided on the path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war weapons such as outside strategic assets should be completely stopped.”
Meanwhile, Trump used his New Year’s message to brag about the “accomplishments” of his adminstatrion so far.
In a video posted to the firebrand Republican’s Twitter page, he said: “I will tell you: there has never been an administration – and I am very proud of this – that has done more than the Trump administration in the first two years of office.”
The video, posted to the official White House Twitter page, carried the caption: “2018 has been a year of historic accomplishments.”
In the clip, Trump claimed his government had taken steps to improve US relations with North Korea.
He said: “You look at North Korea, we are doing really well – rockets aren’t being fired missiles aren’t being fired.
“We’re in no rush.”