- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly said that Pyongyang is waiting on Washington to make the next move.
- Kim reportedly told Russian and Chinese officials that the regime had already taken steps towards denuclearization, like refraining from further nuclear and missile testing, and was waiting for the US to reciprocate in its actions.
- Russian officials said North Korea won’t take “unilateral” steps towards denuclearization.
- The relationship between the US and North Korea remains uneasy, though both sides appear to be open to dialogue.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that Pyongyang has already taken steps towards denuclearization and is expecting Washington to make the next move.
Kim met with Chinese and Russian officials who were visiting North Korea for its toned-down 70th anniversary celebrations, and conveyed his frustrations on stalled talks with the US.
In attendance was Li Zhanshu, a third-ranking member of the Chinese Communist Party leadership, who presented a letter from President Xi Jinping to Kim and reiterated commitment to denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
But Kim told Li that the regime had already taken steps towards denuclearization, like refraining from further nuclear and missile testing, and awaited the US to reciprocate in its actions. US intelligence reports indicate that North Korea has continued to work on its nuclear program and missile arsenal.
“We would like the United States to take some kind of action that is reasonable, then we would like to move forward along the process of a political solution,” Kim told Li during their meeting, according to the Asahi Shimbun, citing Chinese state media.
The North Korean leader added that the country is “taking measures by sticking firmly to the agreement” made with President Donald Trump during their summit in June, though he did not expand on what measures had been taken, Asahi added.
Moscow official Valentina Matviyenko said Monday that Kim appealed to Russia to help ease crippling sanctions imposed against the regime, given the “steps they have been taking” in line with Kim’s agreement with Trump, Russia’s TASS state news agency reported.
“Those are very serious steps aimed at the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” she said, adding that Kim expects “reciprocal” measures by the US because “it is impossible for only North Korea to take unilateral steps on denuclearization.”
The relationship between the US and North Korea remains uneasy
Relations between North Korea and the US have grown stale in recent months, though both sides appear to be open to dialogue.
Trump last month canceled a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing lack of “sufficient progress” towards denuclearization, and days later North Korea’s state newspaper accused the US of plotting to “unleash a war” on them while continuing to negotiate “with a smile on its face.”
But on Monday, the White House said it’s planning another summit between Trump and Kim after it received “further evidence of progress” with Pyongyang in the form of a “very warm and very positive” letter. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said no details have been finalised, and said it will not release the full letter unless Kim agrees it should be made public.
On Sunday, Trump praisedKim’s muted 70th anniversary celebrations, which didn’t feature its usual showcase of nuclear weapons, as a sign of progress.
“This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea,” he tweeted. “Thank you To Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong! There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!”
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