North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to make a “courageous decision” on stalled nuclear talks, warning of “very bleak and very dangerous” consequences if Washington does not change its approach.
Speaking to a session of North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, Kim also said he is open to a third summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, but only if the U.S. changes its attitude, according to North Korean state media.
Trump this week said he is considering another meeting with Kim, but insisted the U.S. would not relax sanctions until North Korea gives up its nuclear arsenal.
The talks have been stalled since a February Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi ended in no deal. North Korean officials have since threatened to pull out of the talks and restart nuclear and missile tests.
It is not clear what Kim meant by a “courageous decision.” But North Korea has said it wants the U.S. to begin to relax sanctions in exchange for gradual nuclear concessions.
Trump on Thursday expressed openness to “smaller deals” with the North but said he is still looking for a wide-ranging agreement under which North Korea commits to completely dismantling its nuclear weapons.
At their first summit last year in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a vague statement to work toward the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.” However, U.S. officials have since conceded the two sides do not agree on what that phrase means.
North Korean officials have traditionally insisted that denuclearization means the U.S. reducing or eliminating its security commitment to South Korea, including removing nuclear-capable assets from the region.
The U.S. insists North Korea must unilaterally give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, which violate United Nations resolutions.
North Korea has spent decades building up its nuclear program, which it views as a deterrent against the U.S.