SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is willing to meet again with United States President Donald Trump to reach an agreement on denuclearization that is fair and mutually acceptable, and if Washington has the right attitude, state media reported on Saturday.
“If the US proposes holding a third North Korea-US summit with a right attitude and a right method, we have a willingness to do it one more time,” Kim said during a speech on Friday on the second day of a 14th Supreme People’s Assembly session and published on Saturday by Pyongyang’s state news agency KCNA.
“I will not hesitate in signing an agreement only if it is written in a way that meets the interests of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name) and is fair, mutually acceptable, and this will entirely depend upon with what attitude and calculus the US would come up with,” Kim said, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
The leader said that he will wait until the end of the year to see if Washington makes a “courageous decision.”
The failure to reach an agreement in Hanoi revolved around the number of North Korean nuclear assets to be dismantled against the volume of sanctions that the US would alleviate as a corresponding measure.
Washington wanted the North to dismantle its missiles and chemical and biological weapons (in addition to nuclear weapons) programs before granting concessions, while Pyongyang called for the lifting of much of the sanctions in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear facility, which the US considered insufficient.
Kim said the failed summit generated “strong doubt” about whether the steps taken by Pyongyang were right and whether Washington genuinely intends to improve bilateral relations.
“The US came up to the negotiation venue focusing only on methods that can never be realized,” said the North Korean leader, who added that the US “was not ready to sit face-to-face and solve problems. Neither did it have smart directions or methods.”
“We regard it as important to solve problems through dialogue and negotiations, but we do not like and have interest in the US way of talks ... We do not welcome nor have any desire to see another Hanoi summit,” he said.
However, Kim added that the two countries “still maintain excellent relations.”
Kim gave his speech a day after Trump said during a Thursday summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he is open to meeting again with the North Korean leader.
The US president remained firm in his refusal to make economic concessions to Pyongyang, although he was open to reaching smaller agreements with North Korea.