Kim Jong-un's new year message to the world

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk after lunch at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

Kim Jong Un expected to give New Year’s Day speech highlighting North Korea’s priorities

North Korea's leader has said he is committed to denuclearisation, but his New Year message came laced with a warning to the United States.

"I am ready to sit with the United States president again at any time in the future and will make efforts by all means to produce a result that will be welcomed by the worldwide community", Kim said.

However, he said the North will be forced to take a different path if the United States "continues to break its promises and misjudges the patience of our people by unilaterally demanding certain things and pushes ahead with sanctions and pressure".

Kim said inter-Korean relations have now entered a "completely new phase", and he is willing to resume key joint economic projects with the South - the factory park in Kaesong and tours to Mt. Kumgang - without conditions.


USA officials say those steps can be easily reversed and have not been verified, and Washington has slapped additional economic sanctions on the impoverished country.

The North Korean dictator said: "Now that North and South Korea decided on the path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war weapons such as outside strategic assets should be completely stopped". "The challenge, however, is will Team Trump be willing to back away from its position of zero sanctions relief?" said Harry Kazianis at the Washington-based Centre for the National Interest.

Among the topics the leader is expected to address Tuesday are the state - and perhaps future - of denuclearization talks with the US, relations with South Korea and the Hermit Kingdom's economy, which has been tanked by sanctions from the USA and worldwide community after years of nuke tests. There are views that North Korea wants a quick second summit because it thinks it can win major concessions from Trump that they probably couldn't from lower-level US officials, who are more adamant about the North committing to inspections and verification.

Kim and Trump vowed to work toward denuclearisation and build a "lasting and stable" peace regime at their landmark summit in Singapore in June, but little progress has been made since and satellite images have indicated continued activity at North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities.


Kim also reiterated his "strong will" and the North Korean government's "unchanged" position to pursue better relations with the United States and to seek complete denuclearization.

The setting, which mimics the one favored by Chinese President Xi Jinping for his New Year address, marks a departure from previous years when Kim stood before an assembly hall packed with officials.

The hardening stalemate has fuelled doubts on whether Kim will ever voluntarily relinquish the nuclear weapons and missiles he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. "Therefore, we have already declared domestically and internationally and took various actions showing our commitment that we will no further create or test nuclear weapons and will not use or spread them".

Mr Kim and Mr Trump met for the first time in Singapore in June but, despite a great deal of hype, the resulting agreements were vague on how denuclearisation would be achieved.


Washington and Pyongyang have yet to reschedule a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials after the North cancelled it at the last minute in November.

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