Kim says ready to meet Trump 'anytime,' warns of 'new path'

In this undated image from video distributed on Tuesday Jan. 1 2019 by North Korean broadcaster KRT North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim says he hopes to extend his high-stakes nuclear summitry with

He delivered his latest missive in a much-anticipated live New Year's address, dressed in a dark Western suit and looking relaxed as he spoke from a plush leather chair in a stately office lined with books and family portraits.

Kim said he was willing to meet the USA president at any time, mixing in conciliatory messages with his warnings of conflict to Washington and Seoul in his annual speech where he laid out policy priorities for his isolated and impoverished country.

"However, if the United States continues to break its promises and misjudges our patience by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure against our republic, then we may have to seek another way to protect our country's sovereignty and interest and establish peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula", he added.

-North Korea denuclearization talks remain at an impasse months after a landmark June summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore.

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 USA to take "corresponding measures".

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.

The hermit-kingdom despot used his New Year address to stage the intervention.

Obviously, this is a speech primarily delivered for a domestic audience, but he just did use the phrase denuclearization.

North Korea did not conduct any weapons tests in 2018. He also urged development in the munitions industry, to bring the country's defense capabilities "up to the level of developed countries".

"I am confident that the USA will probe this and unpack what the North Koreans mean", Carlin said.

Kim also called for active pursuit of multilateral negotiations among countries involved in the truce agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War to discuss replacing the armistice deal with a peace treaty, which he said will lay the groundwork for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. He said he was willing to resume joint projects with the South, including reopening the Kaesong industrial park and Mount Kumgang resort, without conditions.

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But such plans also require some of the sanctions to be lifted.

Seoul and Washington are in a security alliance and the U.S. stations 28,500 troops in the South.

-South Korean alliance with their military cooperation coming under pressure from Pyongyang, Seoul's process for inter-Korean engagement, and Washington's current inability to reach an agreement on cost-sharing for the USA military presence in South Korea.

He also said he was ready to meet Mr Trump again at any time.

He's now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a professor at Georgetown University.

But nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled in recent months as they struggle with the sequencing of North Korea's disarmament and the removal of US -led sanctions against the North.

This photo taken on December 31, 2018 shows a general view of revelers during a New Year's eve countdown event and fireworks display at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. But Kazianis said it was time for the United States to truly test Kim's intentions through "a grand bargain on denuclearization that matches action for action".

Mr Kim added: 'If the United States takes honest measures and corresponding action to our leading and pre-emptive efforts, then (US-North Korea) relations will advance at a fast and excellent pace through the process of implementing (such) definite and groundbreaking measures'.

This article was written by Simon Denyer and Min Joo Kim, reporters for The Washington Post.

In this year's address, Kim reminded viewers that athletes from the two Koreas had marched together under a joint Korean flag at the Opening Ceremonies of those Games.

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