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North Korea threatens to resume nuclear testing

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said on Wednesday that his country would resume development of its nuclear program and launch a “new strategic weapon” in the near future, the official KCNA news agency reported. , failing to resume negotiations with the United States.

The announcement comes after Pyongyang said it would embark on a “new path” in the absence of concessions from Washington before the end of 2019, while discussions on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula are deadlock.

The Donald Trump administration left this ultimatum unanswered, viewing it as artificial.

North Korea has in the past called for the easing of UN sanctions targeting it since 2016 due to its nuclear and ballistic programs, an appeal brought by China and Russia to the Security Council.

According to comments reported by the KCNA, Kim Jong-un said that there was no longer any reason for North Korea to stand by the nuclear test freeze it had announced itself, when the United States is negotiating “like thugs” by continuing joint military exercises with South Korea and imposing sanctions.

The number one North Korean has promised to continue the development of the nuclear program of the country, for deterrence purposes, while leaving the door open to dialogue by declaring that the “scale” of this development would be “proportional” to the attitude of the United States.

“The world will witness a new strategic weapon” that North Korea will have in the “near future”, added Kim Jong-un, saying he wanted to have a nuclear arsenal powerful enough to contain the American threat and guarantee the North Korea’s long-term security.

– PROMISE –

In Washington, the US Secretary of State said in an interview with Fox News that he hoped Pyongyang would choose “peace and prosperity” rather than “conflict and war”.

Asked separately by CBS News, Mike Pompeo said it would be “deeply disappointing” if Kim Jong-un chose to renege on commitments made to Donald Trump at their first summit.

The US president for his part again stressed Tuesday evening to journalists that he had a good relationship with Kim Jong-un and estimated that the North Korean leader would keep his word after signing in 2018 “an agreement evoking denuclearization”.

In Seoul, the South Korean Minister for Unification, responsible for relations with the North, said that the joint military exercises with the United States had been suspended and that it would be useless for negotiations if Pyongyang were to take measures to launch the new weapon announced.

According to the KCNA, citing Kim Jong-un, there will “never be a denuclearization of the peninsula” if Washington continues to adopt a policy seen by Pyongyang as hostile.

Negotiations to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic programs, which began with the historic Singapore summit in June 2018, have been stalled since the failure of a working meeting between the two sides last October in Stockholm.

One of the bottlenecks that caused the failure of the second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Vietnam in February relates to the synchronization between denuclearization and lifting of sanctions.

Pyongyang said in early December it had passed a “very significant” test from the Sohae satellite launch base, located on the west coast of the peninsula, without revealing the nature of the weapon tested.

North Korea has increased the series of short-range missile tests since last July.

However, its last test of an intercontinental ballistic missile dates back to November 2017. The regime had fired a Hwasong-15, of sufficient range, according to Pyongyang, to reach any point in the territory of the United States.

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