UPDATED 9:38 AM PT — Monday, January 7, 2019
With a new year ahead, President Trump is remaining optimistic about the future of relations with North Korea. In a recent tweet, the president reaffirmed he wants to meet with Kim Jong Un again. This tweet came just hours after Kim addressed his people and the world, and claimed he’s still dedicated to denuclearization.
“Kim Jong Un says North Korea will not make or test nuclear weapons, or give them to others – & he is ready to meet President Trump anytime.” PBS News Hour. I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 1, 2019
“Our party’s, our government’s and my resolve for complete denuclearization remain unchanged,” stated the North Korean leader. “We have proclaimed that we will no longer make nuclear weapons and will not use them or spread them — we have also taken various practical measures already.”
However, these plans seem to be dependent on the U.S. Since the two leaders met for the first time in June, Kim has continued to push the White House to lift its sanctions and offer up a deal that’s beneficial for both countries.
“I am always ready to sit down again with the U.S. president at any time and will make efforts to produce an outcome that the international community would welcome, however if the U.S. miscalculates our people’s patience, forces something upon us and pursues sanctions and pressure without keeping a promise it made in front of the world, we have no option but to explore a new path in order to protect our sovereignty and achieve peace on the Korean peninsula,” Kim stated.
Despite his promises, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill remain skeptical he can be trusted.
“Kim Jong Un is a butcher, and he’s a butcher of his own people — trying to reason with someone like that is like trying to hand feed a shark,” said Senator John Kennedy.
“If he’s going to denuclearize, we have to be sure the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed because there are ways to hide like we all know,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Plans for a second summit between President Trump and Kim have yet to be publicized, but White House officials said it could happen within months — leading many to wonder if complete denuclearization is on the horizon.