Kim criticises US for ‘bad faith’ at Trump summit
The North Korean leader wrapped up a brief and generally successful visit to the Russian Far East for his first summit with President Vladimir Putin.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has criticised the US for taking a “unilateral attitude in bad faith” at his February meeting with Donald Trump in Hanoi.
Mr Kim blamed that as the cause of the diplomatic standstill, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The North Korean leader wrapped up a brief and generally successful visit to the Russian Far East for his first summit with President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
He told Mr Putin the situation on the Korean Peninsula has reached a “critical point” and whether it returns to tensions will “entirely depend on the US future attitude”.
KCNA said Mr Putin credited Mr Kim’s diplomatic initiatives for stabilising the situation surrounding the peninsula and accepted Mr Kim’s invitation to visit North Korea at a “convenient time”.
No specific measures coming out of the summit have been reported by either side.
Mr Kim paid his respects at a ceremony honouring the war dead to round off his visit on Friday.
He arrived about two hours later than expected at a park near the headquarters of the Russian navy’s Pacific Fleet for the wreath-laying ceremony.
Wearing a black suit and a fedora, he followed two goose-stepping Russian soldiers carrying a plate of red flowers with his name spelled out in Korean in gold colours on a red ribbon.
Mr Kim then laid flowers, took off his hat and bowed as a Russian military band played music, including North Korea’s national anthem.
Mr Kim left for Pyongyang on Friday afternoon by his private train about four hours earlier than planned after his delegation requested to cut his visit short, Russian news agencies reported.
Following their talks on Thursday, Mr Putin indicated that he might be willing to play a bigger role in breaking the stalemate over Washington’s push for denuclearisation and Mr Kim’s demands for sanctions relief.
He said he would be willing to share details with the United States about his summit with Mr Kim and suggested that Pyongyang is willing to give up nuclear weapons, but only if he gets ironclad security guarantees supported by a multinational agreement.
After meeting Mr Kim, Mr Putin later headed for a two-day trip to Beijing, where he said he will inform the Chinese leadership about the summit.
The leaders’ comments suggest there has been no significant shift in Mr Kim’s position.
North Korea has all along contended that it needs its nuclear arsenal to defend itself against what it sees as US hostility and wants concrete reassurances of its safety.
This includes the removal of the American nuclear threat as an integral part of the denuclearisation of the entire Korean Peninsula.
Along with a statement of political support, Mr Kim was also looking for some kind of economic support and possibly even a workaround to sanctions that will force more than 10,000 North Korean labourers in Russia to leave by the end of the year.
The labourers are a major source of income for Pyongyang.
Mr Putin said they discussed the issue and would find a solution taking into account “humanitarian” factors, though he did not say what that would be.