North Korea said in a statement it would be a mistake for the US to believe close personal relations between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could be exploited to pass the year-end deadline on denuclearization negotiations, KCNA reported Saturday.
"The US is seriously mistaken if it is of the idea of passing off in peace the end of this year, by exploiting the close personal relations between its president and the Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK for the delaying tactics," the statement reads.
In the statement, senior Pyongyang official Kim Yong Chol said relations between the two nations, despite Washington's "hostile policy," have not yet derailed thanks to the personal relations between the two leaders.
Kim condemned the US for trying to spin what he called the DPRK's "crucial measures taken for confidence-building" as Washington's "diplomatic gains," pointing out that no "substantial progress" has been made in the DPRK-US relations.
The statement says that the "belligerent relations" between the two nations could result in an exchange of fire "at any moment."
"My hope is that the diplomatic adage that there is neither permanent foe nor permanent friend does not change into the one that there is a permanent foe but no permanent friend," Kim said in the statement.
The deadline was set by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in April this year, after negotiations with Trump ended abruptly. Speaking before the Supreme People’s Assembly, Kim said he was willing to wait until the end of this year for Washington to adopt a more flexible stance.
“It is essential for the US to quit its current calculation method and approach us with a new one," KCNA quoted the DPRK leader saying.
North Korea did not make it clear what would happen if the deadline was not met. It is also unclear why Pyongyang chose the end of 2019 as the deadline, a Euronews report said.
The two leaders have met three times: in Singapore last year, in Hanoi in February, and at the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea in June. The Singapore meeting was touted as a diplomatic breakthrough between the two nations, but subsequent meetings have failed to come up with an agreement.