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U.S. declines to comment on N.K. leader's speech

All Headlines 03:20 January 02, 2019

WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- The United States declined to comment Tuesday after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un renewed his commitment to denuclearize but demanded reciprocal steps from the U.S.

"We decline the opportunity to comment," a State Department spokesperson told Yonhap on condition of anonymity.

It was Washington's first response to Kim's annual New Year's speech, which was watched closely for hints of the future of stalled denuclearization talks between the North and the U.S.

Kim said in the address that he is committed to achieving "complete denuclearization" as agreed during his first summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June.

But he also warned the U.S. not to test the North's patience with continued sanctions and pressure, saying his regime may be "compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula."

hague@yna.co.kr
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