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North Korea warns of 'new path', but options limited


FILE PHOTO - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses for photos in Pyongyang in this January 1, 2019 photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA/via REUTERS/File Photo


SEOUL (Reuters) - In his New Year address on Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned he might take a “new path” if Washington maintains sanctions amid his country’s push for economic development, but experts say it may be too late to change the trajectory of negotiations.


Kim did not specify what the new approach might be. His warning may sound similar to the bellicose rhetoric that Pyongyang often deployed before last year’s summit, but he cannot jeopardize the hard-won thaw and has few options beyond appealing directly to U.S. President Donald Trump, experts say.


State media have in recent weeks accused the State Department of risking returning to “exchanges of fire” of the past by ramping up sanctions, while crediting Trump for his efforts to continue talks.


As both sides struggle to find a breakthrough in stalled talks, the speech shows Kim shifting the focus from calls for complete dismantlement of its nuclear arsenal and hinting at including countries other than the United States.


REUTERS

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