In his televised New Year’s speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had a stern warning to President Trump and the United States if current sanctions were not lifted saying his country “may be compelled to find a new way” to defend itself, leading many to believe he was hinting at a military response.
How important are sanctions to North Korea? In a New Year speech, Kim said that if the US “tries to unilaterally force us to do something, and continues with sanctions… we might have no choice but to reluctantly seek a new way to defend the country’s sovereignty” pic.twitter.com/bJ908DLANh— BBC Monitoring (@BBCMonitoring) February 28, 2019
President Trump and Kim Jong Un have been engaged in what many hope are talks leading to an agreement of the controversial North Korean nuclear program. Clearly, most countries would like to see North Korea give up the nuclear weapons but since they continue to refuse to agree to do so, they have been under harsh sanctions.
But even after these talks and despite the threat of possible military engagement from the North Korean leader, Trump said in a statement to reporters on Thursday that the sanctions are, indeed, still in place.
Kim Jong Un’s address had more to say to the US:
“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.”Kim Jong Un
Although North Korea insists it has ended testing on its nuclear sites, many believe the threat is that the 12 test sites will start back up and that they may, in fact, expand to include more. The two leaders met last year and SAID they agreed on peace as they move forward but there has still been no real glimpse of what or how they intend to do that when North Korea seems to be dead-set on keeping its nuclear arms as they currently are.