North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed that his desire to denuclearize the Korean peninsula remained "unchanged, consistent and fixed", according to state media, hours after America's top diplomat urged Pyongyang to seize a historic opportunity to shutter its nuclear program.
Meanwhile, as America and North Korea work to arrange a meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump next month, the North Korean leader announced that his country would hold a bilateral summit with Russia.
Kim made the pledge while meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
In a whiplashing week of diplomatic maneuvering, Trump declared the meeting with Kim off before reversing and saying his administration was working with Pyongyang to hold the summit as planned.
Even as Trump and administration officials projected confidence that the meeting would proceed, Kim used his meeting with Lavrov to both underscore his commitment to a nuclear deal and to chastise the US.
The North Korean leader reportedly bemoaned "US hegemony" to Lavrov. Pyongyang has long denounced what it calls America's imperialistic aggression, warning that joint military exercises with South Korean troops are rehearsals for an invasion.
But Kim also reiterated his willingness to wind down North Korea's nuclear program, a condition he backed in proposing the extraordinary meeting to Trump.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team