N. Korea's Kim feels frustrated at doubts in international community

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-09-06 13:48 Updated : 2018-09-06 13:48
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[Courtesy of the presidential Blue House]

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un feels frustrated at lingering doubts in the international community about his peace overtures that included the suspension of missile and nuclear tests and the shutdown of a nuclear test site, a South Korean presidential official said Thursday.

Kim announced a decision in April to suspend missile and nuclear tests, followed by the shutdown of underground tunnels at the Punggye-ri test site near the border with China as the first step toward complete denuclearization.

At talks with South Korean officials, Kim expressed frustration at some doubts in the international community over his "preemptive" measures, according to Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, who visited Pyongyang on Wednesday as a special envoy to arrange a fresh inter-Korean summit.

Kim hoped the international community would take "goodwill in good faith," clarifying his strong commitment to denuclearization, Chung said, adding North Korea is probably ready to act more aggressively if the United States takes reciprocal steps.

Despite poor evaluation by the international society, Kim stressed that he would pursue denuclearization more actively if "simultaneous actions and principles" are followed, the envoy said.

The North Korean leader dismissed worries among U.S. and South Korean conservative groups that a lasting peace regime to end the status of war on the Korean peninsula may weaken the alliance between Seoul and Washington or lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, Chung said.

The envoy said that Kim showed confidence with U.S. President Donald Trump and hoped to improve relations between Pyongyang and Washington, the Cold War enemies for nearly seven decades, by achieving denuclearization by January 2021. Kim was also quoted as saying he has never made negative comments on Trump.

Chung ruled out a three-way summit involving Kim, Moon and Trump at the United National General Assembly in New York.