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(LEAD) N.K. leader expresses willingness to hold 3rd summit with Trump

North Korea 07:38 April 13, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS more remarks from 3rd para)

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has expressed a willingness to hold a third summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, urging Washington to come up with a "fair" and "mutually acceptable" deal, state media reported Saturday.

Kim also said his relations with Trump still remain excellent, as he delivered a budget speech at the second day session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly meeting on Friday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"If the U.S. proposes holding a third North Korea-U.S. summit with a right attitude and a right method, we have a wiliness to do it one more time," Kim was quoted as saying.

"I will not hesitate at all in signing an agreement only if it is written in a way that meets the interests of the DPRK and the U.S., and is fair, mutually acceptable, and this will entirely depend upon with what attitude and calculus the U.S. would come up with," he said.

Kim said that the North would not stick to summits with the U.S. for the sake of easing sanctions but wait "patiently" until this year's end for Washington to make a "courageous decision."

His remarks came a day after Trump said during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he is open to a third summit with the North Korean leader.

Kim and Trump met for the first time last June in Singapore and agreed to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for Washington's security guarantees. Denuclearization talks, however, have been stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in Hanoi late February.

The Hanoi summit fell apart as they failed to find common ground over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization steps with Washington's sanctions relief.

Pyongyang wanted major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear facility. But Washington insisted on what officials described as "a big deal" that called for trading sanctions relief for the dismantlement of all of the North's nuclear and other weapons programs.

Last month, North Korea warned that Pyongyang could end nuclear negotiations with the U.S., saying that it would not give in to Washington's "gangster-like" demands.


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