Kim Jong-un brags of nuclear arsenal with veiled warning to Trump in blow to peace hopes

Mr Trump has met with the North Korea leader on three occasions since 2018 – but Kim’s speech, delivered to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953, appears to close the book on any lingering hopes the Hermit State can be persuaded to give up its weapons any time soon. The 36-year-old, who is back in the limelight after rumours of his death swept the globe in April, was speaking before a packed auditorium of veterans gathered in the capital, Pyongyang.

In a likely reference to the US, he said: “Now, we’ve changed to a country which can defend itself reliably and unwaveringly against high-intensity pressures and military threats and blackmailing by imperialistic reactionaries and hostile forces.

“There won’t be any war on this land again and our national security and future will be guaranteed firmly and permanently because of our reliable, effective self-defensive nuclear deterrent.”

His country’s nuclear weapons offered “an absolute might” against foreign powers, Kim bragged.

During the course of the event, Kim also handed out commemorative pistols to army officers.

They then held them against their chests and vowed to fight to the death to protect the Supreme Leader.

At their first summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018, Mr Trump and Kim signed a jointed declaration, in which North Korea reaffirmed the Panjom Declaration co-signed with South Korea on April 27 pledging “to work towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

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However, sceptics noted there was no time frame nor any commitment to allowing any independent verification.

Two further summits followed without any further significant process since when the process appears to have stalled.

In a live-streamed interview with The Hill website earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said North Korea had “chosen at this point in time not to engage in a way that can lead to a potential solution”.

Another meeting between Mr Trump and Kim between now and the US presidential election in November was doubtful, Mr Pompeo said.

He explained: “It’s now July. I think that’s unlikely, but in the event that it was appropriate, we thought we could make material progress and the best way to do that was to put President Trump with Chairman Kim to do it, I’m confident that the North Koreans and President Trump would find that in our best interest.”

Days earlier, Kim Yo-jong, Kim Jong-un’s increasingly influential sister, who has recently been appointed to the country’s Politburo, was reported by state news agency KNCA as saying a summit was unlikely this year.

Highlighting Pyongyang’s objections to what it sees as hostile and self-serving policies, the 32-year-old said: “We are not saying we will never denuclearise, but we are making it clear that we cannot do it now.”

Nevertheless, she added: “We have no intention of threatening the US.

“As long as they don’t touch us and hurt us, everything will flow as is.”

Speaking to last September, journalist Roy Calley, whose book, Look With Your Eyes and Tell The World, chronicles his travels in North Korea, told “My feeling is that Donald Trump is wasting his time, but he probably knows that anyway.

“Kim Jong-un has no intention of giving up nuclear weapons and that can be seen by the numerous news stories in the media celebrating the latest rocket fired into the sky, plus the numerous buildings, museums and events that celebrate the ‘strength’ the country has.

“In my opinion, there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of the Supreme Leader giving up these weapons.”

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