Every year, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issues a New Year’s address to the people, summarizing the achievements of the outgoing year and the prospects for the future. On Jan. 1, 2019, Kim Jong Un continued in this tradition of elaborating for the Korean people the work accomplished in the spheres of economic and social development and the tasks ahead. He also addressed the important subject of U.S.-Korean relations, which we excerpt below. This English translation is provided by the United Nations Mission of the DPRK.
The historic, first-ever DPRK-U.S. summit meeting and talks brought about a dramatic turn in the bilateral relationship which was the most hostile on the earth and made a great contribution to ensuring peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the region.
It is the invariable stand of our Party and the government of our Republic and my firm will to establish a new bilateral relationship that meets the demand of the new era as clarified in the June 12 DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement, build a lasting and durable peace regime and advance towards complete denuclearization.
Accordingly, we declared at home and abroad that we would neither make and test nuclear weapons any longer nor use and proliferate them, and we have taken various practical measures.
If the U.S. responds to our proactive, prior efforts with trustworthy measures and corresponding practical actions, bilateral relations will develop wonderfully at a fast pace through the process of taking more definite and epochal measures.
We have no intention to be obsessed with and keep up the unsavory past relationship between the two countries, but are ready to fix it as early as possible and work to forge a new relationship in line with the aspirations of the two peoples and the requirements of the developing times.
As evidenced by the reality of north-south relations that made rapid progress last year, nothing is impossible to a willing heart, and dialogue partners will reach the destinations that are beneficial to each other without fail if they put forward fair proposals on the principle of recognizing and respecting each other by abandoning their dogged insistence broadmindedly and conduct negotiations with a proper stand and the will to settle issues.
I want to believe that our relations with the United States will bear good fruit this year, as inter-Korean relations have greeted a great turn, by the efforts of the two sides.
I am of the opinion that, while meeting and holding talks beneficial to both sides with the U.S. president in June last year, we exchanged constructive views and reached a consensus of understanding for a shortcut to removing each other’s apprehensions and resolving the entangled problems.
I am ready to meet the U.S. president again anytime, and will make efforts to obtain without fail results which can be welcomed by the international community.
But if the United States does not keep the promise it made in the eyes of the world, and out of miscalculation of our people’s patience, it attempts to unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic, we 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.