End of the deadline: What now for US-North Korea talks?

Kim Jong Un has made it clear there will “never be denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula” if Washington adheres to “its hostile policy”, as the North Korean leader’s year-end deadline for the Trump government to restart negotiations elapsed.

Kim and US President Donald Trump met twice last year – in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which divides the two Koreas – but failed to reach an agreement that seemed imminent after the landmark 2018 Singapore talks.

The North Korean leader had issued a year-end deadline to the Trump administration to get back to the negotiating table.

The US regarded the ultimatum as artificial and, in his New Year’s address following a four-day Workers’ Party meeting in the North Korean capital Pyongyang, Kim made it clear there were no grounds for North Korea to be bound by a self-declared moratorium on testing nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

“We will steadily develop necessary and prerequisite strategic weapons for the security of the state until the US rolls back its hostile policy towards the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and a lasting and durable peacekeeping mechanism is built,” Kim said in his New Year’s address following a four-day Workers’ Party meeting in Pyongyang.

“The present situation warning of long confrontation with the US urgently requires us to make it a fait accompli that we have to live under the sanctions by the hostile forces in the future, too, and to strengthen the internal power from all aspects.”

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