Kim Jong-un gives Donald Trump until end of year to change attitude to North Korea nuclear talks

Kim Jong-un said the US must change its attitude to talks by the end of this year if there was to be a third summit with Donald Trump.

The North Korean leader made the comments during a speech on Friday at a session of North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, which made a slew of personnel changes that bolstered his diplomatic lineup amid deadlocked negotiations with the United States.

His speech came hours after Mr 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 US-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 programme 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, Mr Trump and Kim issued a vague statement calling for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when and how it would occur.

Kim said the United States has been refusing to withdraw what the North perceives as "hostile policies" while sticking to "mistaken judgment that we would succumb to maximum pressure." 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 unrealisable plans."

"If the United States approaches us with the right manner and offers to hold a third North Korea-U.S. leaders’ summit on the condition of finding solutions we could mutually accept, then we do have a willingness to give it one more try," he added. "We will wait with patience until the end of the year for the United States to come up with a courageous decision. But it will clearly be difficult for a good opportunity like last time to come up."

Kim also during the speech made a nationalistic call for South Korea to support the North’s positions more strongly and criticised Seoul for acting like an "overstepping mediator" between Washington and Pyongyang. Kim held three summits last year with Moon, who lobbied hard to revive the nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea.

Following collapse of the Trump-Kim summit, the North had been urging the South to break away from Washington and proceed with inter-Korean economic projects that are currently held back by U.S.-led sanctions against the North.

"The South should not act as an ‘overstepping mediator’ or a ‘facilitator’ and should rather get its mind straight as a member of the (Korean) nation and boldly speak up for the interest of the nation," Kim said.

When asked about Kim’s comments, South Korea’s presidential office said Seoul is committed toward keeping the atmosphere of dialogue alive and helping negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang resume at an early date.

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