Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump tweets about possible third summit with Kim Jong Un

Trump tweets about possible third summit with Kim Jong Un

In a speech to Pyongyang's rubber-stamp parliament on Friday, Kim said the Hanoi meeting had made him question whether Washington is "genuinely interested" in improving its relations with Pyongyang. Kim and Trump have met twice but failed to reach an agreement on lifting the U-S sanctions in exchange for the denuclearization of North Korea.

"I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate", Trump tweeted, "and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand".

Pompeo said that the two countries have continued communication since Trump and Kim's February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which Trump cut short.

Another signal taken from the North Korean reshuffle is that North Korea's senior diplomat to the United States, Choe Son-hui, was promoted to vice foreign minister and may inherit numerous diplomatic responsibilities formerly held by General Kim Yong-chol.

Telling North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly that US diplomats came to the last meeting, which ended abruptly in late February with no agreement, without "a clear direction and methodology", Kim had tough words for the Trump administration in his speech Friday.

Kim's main message came on Wednesday, when he told ruling Workers' Party officials to make the country's economy self-sufficient, "so as to deal a telling blow to the hostile forces who go with bloodshot eyes, miscalculating that sanctions can bring (North Korea) to its knees", the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

Kim added that his personal relationship with Trump remained strong, adding they could "write letters to each other" whenever they wanted.

Kim said that he will wait "till the end of this year" for the United States to decide to be more flexible, according to KCNA. Trump's National Security Advisor, John Bolton, later clarified that the White House found Kim Jong-un's idea of a "step-by-step denuclearization" unacceptable as well. The current USA policy of sanctions and pressure is "like trying to put out a fire with oil", he added.

"We were informed by the prison authorities that she would be released on May 3, and it is likely she will be flown back to Hanoi on the same date", he said, when contacted.

The two leaders met for the first time in Singapore previous year.

As Pyongyang waits for the USA to change its stance, it will "keep increasing the defense capabilities", the North Korean leader stressed.

Kim said the summit created "strong doubt" over whether the steps that he has taken were right and whether the US has a genuine intention to improve bilateral ties with the North.

The day before, Kim accused Seoul of acting as an "overstepping mediator" and said the South should "speak up" for Pyongyang's interests.

While the possibility of further progress is a worthy goal, North Korea's diminutive dictator is already putting conditions on his potential participation and they clearly add up to what many of us suspected all along.

On Friday, KCNA reported Kim was re-elected as chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the North's most important decision-making body, to cheers and loud applause from the delegates. The biggest political development related to Korean peninsula issues was Thursday's Moon-Trump meeting.

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