Kim calls for corresponding United States measures, ready to meet Trump

In this undated image from video distributed on Tuesday Jan. 1 2019 by North Korean broadcaster KRT North Korean leader Kim Jong Un delivers a speech in North Korea. North Korean leader Kim says he hopes to extend his high-stakes nuclear summitry with

During his televised New Year's speech, Kim said he's ready to meet with Trump at any time to produce an outcome "welcomed by the global community".

Kim said he was willing to meet the US president at any time, mixing in conciliatory messages with his warnings of conflict to Washington and Seoul in his annual speech where he laid out policy priorities for his isolated and impoverished country.

"If the USA fails to carry out its promise to the world ... and remains unchanged in its sanctions and pressure upon the DPRK", Kim said, using the acronym for the North's formal name, "we might be compelled to explore a new path for defending the sovereignty of our country and supreme interests of our state".

The hermit-kingdom despot used his New Year address to stage the intervention.

But for most of his 30-minute speech, he focused on North Korea's economy and said he stands ready to resume projects with South Korea and restart operations at a jointly run factory park in the border town of Kaesong.

Kim's speech "expressed his frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations so far", said former South Korean vice unification minister Kim Hyung-seok.

Pyongyang has demanded Washington lift sanctions and declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War in response to its initial, unilateral steps toward denuclearization, including dismantling its only known nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.

He also said he was ready to meet Mr Trump again at any time.

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.

"Kim Jong-un drew from that playbook in his speech today by offering to take actions that might be popular in South Korea but would require U.S. consent to lift sanctions".

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On the front page of the ruling party's flagship newspaper was Kim touring monuments to capitalism, stepping out of a Chinese jet and smiling while shaking hands with the "imperialist" USA president.

Trump has been considering a second summit with Kim to speed up the stalling denuclearization.

He also said the United States and South Korea should no longer carry out joint military exercises - which have been largely halted since the Singapore meeting - calling such drills "a source of tension". Taking matters into their own hands, Kim and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in held a symbolic ceremony to link their railway and road networks late December.

The hardening stalemate has fueled doubts on whether Kim will ever voluntarily relinquish the nuclear weapons and missiles he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

He was referring to his landmark summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore in June, when he said he had "fruitful talks" and "exchanged constructive ideas".

The North Korean leader "obviously had certain expectations that the USA would take certain steps - however rudimentary they are - after the North blew up a nuclear test site and took other steps".

But North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of denuclearization that bears no resemblance to the American definition, with Pyongyang vowing to pursue nuclear development until the United States removes its troops and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan.

Seoul and Washington are in a security alliance and the USA stations 28,500 troops in the South.

Although the North did not conduct nuclear or missile tests previous year, satellite images and leaked information from intelligence officials have pointed to ongoing activity at facilities in the secretive country.

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