North Korea warns of 'new path' if USA 'continues to break promises'

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

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

Kim's speech comes after year of diplomatic surprises by the reclusive leader, including an unprecedented summit with Trump and three meetings with Moon.

"We are willing to resume the Kaesong industrial complex and tour program to Kumgangsan without any preconditions or price, in consideration of South Korean businessmen who once worked at the complex and their hard situation, along with the hopes of our South Korean comrades who seek to visit our people's famous mountain", Kim said in his speech.

Some analysts say North Korea has been trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul while putting the larger burden of action on the United States.

The North has dismantled some testing facilities but there are allegations it is continuing its weapons programme. "That may no longer be true, raising the risk that the White House feels cheated rather than just stonewalled".

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" US president. "He's exuding confidence that his country isn't hung up over the USA, that they can still prosper without Washington".

The setting, which mimics the one favored by Chinese President Xi Jinping for his New Year address, marks a departure from previous years when Kim stood before an assembly hall packed with officials.

The North Korean leader on Tuesday reiterated his determination to achieve complete denuclearization and also called for economic development in his annual New Year's address, stressing the need to strengthen the North's defense.

He was willing to meet Trump again at any time, he added, "to produce a result that will be welcomed by the global community".

Kim Jong Un has issued a stark warning to the US over sanctions placed on North Korea, saying the country would have "no choice" but to act if Washington continues with its "one-sided demands".

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

"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 USA consent to lift sanctions".

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

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on 12 June 2018.

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 U.S. stations 28,500 troops in the South to protect it against its neighbour, which invaded in 1950.

However, there was a clear warning that the country is not ready to disarm unilaterally.

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

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