Jan 02, 2019 08:13 Asia/Tehran

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned that Pyongyang may pursue "a new path" if the US continues to make "one-sided demands" and impose sanction.

Iran Press/ Asia: North Korea, would have "no choice but to defend our country's sovereignty and supreme interest, and find a new way to settle peace on our peninsula," if the US "misinterprets our people's patience, and makes one-sided demands and continues down the path of sanctions and pressure on our republic,"  Kim Jong Un said during an annual New Year's address  on Tuesday.

The North Korean leader also called on Washington and Seoul to end the joint military drills between the two countries.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also affirmed his apparent commitment to denuclearization.

Kim's declaration that his country would no longer "create, test, use, or proliferate nuclear weapons" comes just months after he announced that North Korea's quest for nuclear weapons was "complete" and that it "no longer needs" to test its weapons capability.

The US President Donald Trump administration has maintained it will not give ground on sanctions until North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons, but Pyongyang has called upon the US to alleviate sanctions following moves by Pyongyang to dismantle part of its nuclear program.

Trump later responded to part of Kim's speech, retweeting a line from a news report on the North Korean leader's statement about halting nuclear testing but Trump did not react to Kim warning the US to lift sanctions and not to try North Korea's patience, or to him saying Pyongyang would "find a new way to settle peace on our peninsula" if necessary.

Trump agreed to scale down the drills after his June summit with Kim in Singapore, although US and South Korean defense officials maintain the military exercises are defensive in nature. North Korea has long viewed them as practice for an eventual invasion.

On June 12, 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and with US President Donald Trump made their historic summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island of Singapore.

North Korea has not agreed to any timeline to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, nor has it committed itself to declaring its weaponry and key weapons facilities -- steps that experts say are crucial in any disarmament talks.

Following the Singapore summit, Trump agreed to work with Kim toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, committed to provide the North's regime with security guarantees and pledged to end 'war games', which Pyongyang and Beijing have long seen as provocative.

Pyongyang says Washington has betrayed the spirit of the June summit by making unilateral demands for denuclearization first without taking any reciprocal measures, including for past North Korean goodwill steps. 101/205

 

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