In his new year address, Kim said there would be faster progress on denuclearisation if the United States took corresponding action. For either of these to happen, sanctions would have to be removed. However, Town said the US then renewed a travel ban on USA citizens to North Korea, imposed more sanctions, have continued to talk about maximum pressure, and have essentially cut off humanitarian aid assistance to North Korea. The North Korean leader appeared to be gearing up to portray the United States as the obstacle to progress.
But nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled in recent months as they struggle with the sequencing of North Korea's disarmament and the removal of US-led sanctions against the North.
Culminating in late 2017, the North has carried out 6 atomic blasts and launched rockets capable of reaching the entire U.S. mainland, but has now carried out no such tests for more than a year.
The speech showed Mr Kim's continued focus on direct diplomacy with Mr Trump, who has complained about the cost of maintaining U.S. military support for South Korea.
There was no immediate comment from the White House. But other experts, including former South Korean nuclear envoy Lee Soo-hyuk, were skeptical that would happen given the deadlocked bilateral talks, the Sino-U.S. trade war and Trump's dislike for multinational mechanisms.
The new look also comes in the wake of three summits - two at the border town Panmunjom and the latest in Pyongyang - with South Korean President Moon Jae In, Cheong added.
Speculation of a second Trump-Kim summit has ebbed and flowed, with the USA president saying that he hoped it would take place early this year. Private analysts have accused North Korea of continuing nuclear and missile development, citing details from commercial satellite imagery.
As a way to tackle chronic power shortages, he raised the need for atomic energy.
Relations between Washington and Pyongyang have come a long way since the two leaders' exchanges of threats and insults in 2017, against a background of provocative missile tests by North Korea.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un called for a new summit with United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday, while issuing a series of threats created to intimidate the United States into easing economic sanctions on the hermit kingdom. Kim also urged the North Korean people to strengthen their "self-reliance", a message that echoed Chinese President Xi Jinping's similar address Monday night.Kim repeated the importance of being "frugal" multiple times when speaking about economic plans.
As for Japan, it remains unclear if Kim is truly open to a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, though he hinted previous year at the possibility "at an appropriate time", according to South Korea's Moon.
The hardening stalemate has fuelled doubts on whether Kim will ever voluntarily relinquish the nuclear weapons and missiles he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.
Trump did not specify what exactly he meant by North Korea's "great economic potential" but the current North Korean economy is bolstered by approximately 2.6 million modern slaves and what Andrew Forrest, founder of the Walk Free Foundation dubbed the "brutal suppression of human potential" and lost human freedoms.
North Korea is demanding sanctions relief - it is subject to multiple measures over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs - and has condemned U.S. insistence on its nuclear disarmament as "gangster-like".
Washington and Pyongyang have yet to reschedule a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials after the North cancelled it at the last minute in November.
United States officials say those initial steps were not confirmed and can be easily reversed, and have called for strict sanctions enforcement on the impoverished country until full, verifiable disarmament.
The North Korean leader "obviously had certain expectations that the United States would take certain steps - however rudimentary they are - after the North blew up a nuclear test site and took other steps".