North Korea praises Trump, hopes for progress towards summit

Ruben Fields
September 28, 2019

North Korea on Friday praised US President Donald Trump as "different from his predecessors" as well as "wise" and "bold", even as it cast doubt on prospects for a future summit.

"The US has done nothing for implementing the joint statement" from the first summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim in Singapore a year ago, KCNA said, quoting North Korean Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan.

But the official criticized the United States for resuming joint military drills with South Korea and stepping up sanctions and pressure on the North.

Previous summits, he said, had been "historic occasions" for the two countries to improve relations.

He also claimed while Pyongyang has made "sincere efforts to build trust", United States politicians remain "obsessed" with the idea of enforcing sanctions until Pyongyang completely gives up its nukes first.

"It is hard reality that politicians in Washington are obsessed with [the] "nuclear disarmament-first" assertion - the DPRK can get access to a bright future only when it abandons its nukes first - and with [the] twisted view regarding that sanctions led the DPRK to dialogue", an English version of the KCNA report read, referring to the North by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Mr Trump said on Monday that he would want to know what would result from a third summit with Mr Kim before agreeing to hold it.

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Praising Trump as "different from his predecessors in a political sense", Kim said that the USA president would have to break from Washington's conventional approach to North Korea in order for talks to successfully move forward.

Kim Kye Gwan and North Korea's foreign ministry "will follow the future moves of the U.S.", the statement concluded.

"We have see these public statements that we were hopeful that there would be working level meetings by the end of this month. we've not been able to make those happen and we don't have a date yet when we will be able to get together", Pompeo said at a news conference in NY, where he attended the United Nations General Assembly this week.

Those talks - in the works since June - have failed to materialize, despite North Korean vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui's stated openness to hold them in mid-September.

"We have not been able to make those happen, and we don't have a date yet when we'll be able to get together", Pompeo said.

Pyongyang had bristled at that comment, which Trump said had "set us very back very badly".

Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between Kim and Trump in February ended without a deal.

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