Kim Jong Un gives US until end of year to strike nuclear deal

Kim Jong Un in Hanoi on March 1, 2019. (Bloomberg pic)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he’s willing to hold a third summit with President Donald Trump as long as the US offers acceptable terms for an agreement by the end of the year.

In remarks carried by the official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday, Kim said he wouldn’t welcome a repeat of the Hanoi summit in February, when Trump walked out without securing a nuclear disarmament deal. While Kim hailed his relationship with Trump, he also said the US has been making unilateral demands and should abandon that approach.

“In any case we will wait with patience for the US courageous decision by the end of this year but it will clearly be tough to get such a good opportunity like the last time,” Kim said, according to the KCNA report.

His remarks come after Trump said on Thursday that the door for dialogue remains open and a summit “could happen.” During a meeting at the White House with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, Trump also said now isn’t the right time for inter-Korean projects including reopening a joint industrial park kept shuttered by sanctions.

Kim said he doesn’t have to be fixated on a summit to obtain sanctions relief, and he wouldn’t hesitate to reach an agreement if the US brings up an idea that is acceptable to both sides, KCNA reported.

“What is clear is that if the U.S. clings to the current political reckoning, the outlook for resolving problems will be dark and very risky,” Kim said.