North Korea demands US ends hostility one year on from Singapore

This picture taken on May 4, 2019 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 5, 2019 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) supervising a "strike drill", a test of long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons, into the East Sea in an undisclosed location in North Korea. - North Korea has tested long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons in a "strike drill" overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, state media said. (Photo by KCNA VIA KNS / KCNA VIA KNS / AFP) / South Korea OUT / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE --- /

North Korea on Tuesday called on the US to “roll back its hostile policy”, a day before the first anniversary of a historic summit between its leader and president Donald Trump.

The first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting US president took place on June 12 last year in Singapore, where Kim Jong Un and Trump signed a vaguely-worded deal to achieve “complete denuclearisation”.

But a second meeting in Vietnam in February ended abruptly as the two failed to agree on what the North would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.

The joint statement from the Singapore meeting “of great historic significance is now on the verge of turning into a dead document as the U.S. shuns its implementation”, said the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

It added the “arrogant and unilateral policy” of the US would never work with North Korea.

“There is a limit to the DPRK’s patience,” it said, using the acronym for the North’s official name, adding: “Now is the time for the US to roll back its hostile policy.”

At the Hanoi meeting, Washington sought a more immediate comprehensive denuclearisation deal while Pyongyang wanted a step-by-step process, and demanded the lifting of key economic sanctions in return for shutting down its Yongbyon nuclear complex, which the US refused.

Since Hanoi, Pyongyang has accused Washington of acting in “bad faith” and given it until the end of the year to change its approach.

Last month the North raised tensions in the region by firing short-range missiles for the first time since November 2017.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who was instrumental in brokering the Singapore summit a year ago, said on Monday talks were underway for a third North-US meeting, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

Moon added Pyongyang had refrained from nuclear and long-range missile tests for more than one-and-a-half years.

Trump and Kim continued to express “trust in each other” and “desire for dialogue”, he said.

kjk/tom/fox

/AFP