North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is expected to offer a “new path” in a New Year’s Day speech after the U.S. misses its deadline for denuclearization talks, Reuters reported Tuesday.
Kim is set to discuss the country’s new plan in his address after the U.S. did not take the requested steps to lighten its stance on denuclearization.
Kim’s speech is expected to bring information from a meeting with the Workers’ Party’s 7th Central Committee that has continued since Saturday, according to state media, Reuters reported. In Monday’s meeting, Kim called for “positive and offensive measures” to preserve the country’s security.
“The Central Committee plenary meeting is meant to legitimize the process behind the policy decisions Kim Jong-un will announce in his New Year speech,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, told Reuters. “This meeting is to provide political justification for the economic and security policies Pyongyang will pursue in 2020.”
U.S. military commanders say the “new path” forward could involve North Korea testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the U.S. would be “extraordinary disappointed” if Kim took these actions.
These steps could also put North Korea’s frequently touted relationship with President Trump at risk.
Military flight tracker Aircraft Spots also tracked a U.S. Air Force surveillance plane flying over South Korea Monday and Tuesday, Reuters reported.