North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un called for a new summit with United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday, while issuing a series of threats designed to intimidate the United States into easing economic sanctions on the Hermit Kingdom.
In his New Year's address on North Korean state television, Kim said that he was eager to meet with President Trump at any time and that he desired to forge an agreement that would be "welcomed by the international community," according to NPR.
However, during the same address, Kim blasted the latest round of sanctions and intimated that the sanctions were a violation of promises the Untied States made during the last round of bilateral negotiations. He further threatened that if the United States did not lift the sanctions, North Korea would be "left with no choice but to consider a new way to safeguard our sovereignty and interests."
He also urged the United States to take "sincere measures and corresponding action" in response to alleged peace initiatives undertaken by the North Korean government.
President Trump and Kim Jong Un met in June for a much-ballyhooed summit aimed at achieving a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has ceased its provocative ballistic missile tests in recent months. As a gesture of good faith made in the hopes of encouraging action by North Korea, the United States likewise agreed to scale back joint military exercises with South Korea on the Korean Peninsula.
However, the United States intelligence community remains convinced that North Korea has continued to develop its nuclear weapons program in secret, in violation of numerous promises made to the United States and the global community.
Publicly released satellite footage confirmed this intelligence in August and September, and as a result, sanctions against North Korea remain in place.
Kim did not specify the exact nature of what his country would do if sanctions remained in place. North Korea has broken promises made to the United States to halt is nuclear weapons program on at least six prior occasions.