North's leader Kim Jong-un says he hopes to extend his high-stakes nuclear summitry with US President Donald Trump into 2019, but also warns Washington not to test Pyongyang's patience with sanctions and pressure.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Tuesday that his resolve for complete denuclearisation remains unchanged but he may have no option but to seek a "new path" if the United States continues to demand unilateral action from North Korea.
In his New Year address, Kim said there would be faster progress on denuclearisation if the United States takes corresponding action. He added that he is willing to meet US President Donald Trump at any time.
Kim also called for South Korea to stop joint military exercises with "outside forces" involving strategic assets, while multilateral negotiations should be pursued to build a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
TRT World's Joseph Kim has more from Seoul.
He also made a nationalistic call urging for stronger inter-Korean cooperation and said the North is ready to resume operations at a jointly-run factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and restart South Korean tours to the North's Diamond Mountain resort.
Neither of those is possible for South Korea unless sanctions are removed.
Some analysts say North Korea has been trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul while putting the larger burden of action on the United States.
Pyongyang over the past months has accused Washington of failing to take corresponding measures following the North's unilateral dismantlement of a nuclear testing ground and suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.
Newfound diplomatic approach
Kim used his New Year's speech a year ago to start a newfound diplomatic approach with Seoul and Washington, which led to three summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and a historic June summit with Trump in Singapore.
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.
The North used a blunt statement last month reiterated its traditional stance on denuclearization, saying it will never unilaterally give up its weapons unless Washington removes what Pyongyang describes as a nuclear threat.
Washington and Pyongyang have yet to reschedule a meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials after the North cancelled it at the last minute in November.