Kim Jong-un's new year message

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk after lunch at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore

Wearing a black suit and a grey-blue tie, Mr Kim said: "Now that North and South Korea chose to take the path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war equipment such as outside strategic assets should be completely stopped".

"The US has no intention of easing our unilateral or United Nations sanctions", Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for North Korea said last month, noting that Washington, nevertheless, wants to explore other trust-building measures.

Since the Trump-Kim summit though, less progress has been made than at least optimists had been hoping for. Washington and Pyongyang appear to have interpreted what exactly this means differently.

The BBC's Laura Bicker in Seoul says this could mean that North Korea is waiting for the United States to act in 2019 and unless it does, the current pause on nuclear weapons testing could be over.

The leader's New Year speech is a key moment in the North Korean political calendar, reviewing the past and setting out goals for the future.

But Kim called on Washington to take "corresponding" and "trustworthy" measures to reciprocate steps North Korea has already taken.

The North has also bristled at USA demands to provide a detailed account of nuclear and missile facilities that would be inspected and dismantled under a potential deal.

The North has dismantled some testing facilities but there are allegations it is continuing its weapons programme. Private analysts have accused North Korea of continuing nuclear and missile development, citing details from commercial satellite imagery.

The North Korean leader also vowed to uphold last year's agreements with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, playing up improving relations between the two Koreas. USA officials have repeatedly called for the stringent enforcement of sanctions on the country until its "final, fully verified denuclearization".




Abe, for his part, has said he is willing to meet Kim, though he has insisted that any summit must lead to a resolution of the regime's abductions of Japanese citizens.

The North has also bristled at USA demands to provide a detailed account of nuclear and missile facilities that would be inspected and dismantled under a potential deal.

US President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un walk from their lunch at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore.

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.

Talks between the US and North Korea have made little progress since Trump and Kim held an unprecedented summit in June and signed to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", without defining the term or setting a deadline. The North used a blunt statement last month reiterated its traditional stance on denuclearization, saying it will never unilaterally give up its weapons unless Washington removes what Pyongyang describes as a nuclear threat.

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

Some experts say it's becoming clear the North intends to keep a nuclear arsenal and turn the talks with the United States into a bilateral arms reduction negotiation between two nuclear states, rather than a unilateral process of surrendering its arsenal.

A meeting between North Korean officials and USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo was cancelled by the North at the last minute in November and has yet to be rescheduled.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Communications Breakdown Between Trump, Democrats as Shutdown Enters a Second Week
Dec 31, 2018 - 23:23
President Trump spent the last day of 2018 in much the same way he began the year - venting his anger on Twitter. Nancy Pelosi is likely to be sworn in as the next Speaker of the House.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Hopman Cup 2019-19: Serena Williams Claims Lone US Win Against Greece
Dec 31, 2018 - 22:22
Veteran Roger Federer claimed a commanding 6-1, 6-1 victory over 23-year-old Cameron Norrie to earn Switzerland a first point. Federer will head into the clash in form after a masterclass 57-minute thrashing of Norrie.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top American detained on spy charges in Moscow
Dec 31, 2018 - 22:07
In his annual press conference this month, Putin said Western pressure was aimed at restraining a resurgent Russian Federation . Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow on Friday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Floyd Mayweather Embarrassingly Knocks Out Tenshin Nasukawa In First Round
Dec 31, 2018 - 20:56
Earlier this month, Floyd's estranged pal 50 Cent poked fun at the boxer lacing back up to take on the Japanese fighter. While this fight will likely inflate Mayweather's ego and make him even richer, it won't serve any other goal .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sears closing 80 more stores -- 2 in MI
Dec 29, 2018 - 18:55
The rules give Sears flexibility to extend the deadline or make other changes that might promote more bids. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Lampert said his plan could have preserved 50,000 jobs.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tottenham Hotspur defender Toby Alderweireld available for £25m
Dec 29, 2018 - 18:23
But Pochettino said any incomings might have to be preceded by outgoings. "It's going to be a massive boost for the team".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Deadly blast hits tour bus near Giza pyramids in Egypt
Dec 29, 2018 - 13:58
Another 10 suspected miltants were killed in North Sinai, where the country is fighting an insurgency led by Islamic State. Worse was to come after militants bombed a Russian passenger jet in 2015 as it left Sharm el Sheikh, killing 224 people .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ronaldo speaks out on racist chants towards Napoli's Koulibaly
Dec 28, 2018 - 19:28
Koulibaly has also been handed a two-match ban by Serie A's disciplinary tribunal after he was sent off in the 81st minute. Four Napoli fans were hurt and one of them was stabbed, police said. "It's not good for Italian football, seeing this".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bumrah sets new record in debut Test year
Dec 28, 2018 - 19:26
Despite the massive lead, India decided against enforcing the follow-on and were subject to Cummins's wicket-burst. The fielder was stationed there for any aerial shot and the plan worked to get an early breakthrough.

CenturyLink outage takes down several 911 emergency services across the US
Dec 28, 2018 - 19:17
Monroe, Louisiana-based CenturyLink didn't provide details of the problem and it didn't indicate how many customers were affected. Capas said there had not been any reports of issues as of Friday morning.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. Justice Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery
Dec 28, 2018 - 19:17
There is no evidence of any remaining disease nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in the body, the court said last week. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY treated Ginsburg on Friday for two cancerous nodules on her left lung.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Prince Charles' fears for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal baby
Dec 28, 2018 - 18:55
In the weeks following the announcement, Meghan was cradling her baby bump and showing off her growing belly in fitted outfits. Only a few months later, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were expecting their first baby.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump 'very happy' with Treasury chief Mnuchin: White House adviser
Dec 28, 2018 - 17:40
A bruising December for the US markets - triggered by concerns over a partial federal government shutdown , the U.S. The Dow dropped by 2.9% and the S&P 500 fell 2.7%, the biggest drops ever for the two indexes on Christmas Eve .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Transformer explosion lights up NYC sky, causes power outages
Dec 28, 2018 - 17:29
It was the second major incident involving Con Edison in the last six months. "All the other calls were related to explosions". Power was restored to the airport within an hour of the explosion, however some flights were rerouted from LaGuardia.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump's Surprise Visit Spurs Iraqi Lawmakers To Demand US Withdrawal
Dec 28, 2018 - 16:01
It continues to experience sporadic bombings, kidnappings and assassinations, which most people attribute to IS. It was a day late to qualify as the kind of iconic holiday trip to celebrate with US troops that George W.