Monday, 19 August, 2019

Kim Jong-un to meet Putin in late April

North Korea reportedly tests new tactical guided weapon Breaking: Kim Jong Un celebrates testing of 'new tactical guided weapons'
Patty Aguilar | 20 April, 2019, 17:25

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will travel to Russian Federation later this month to meet President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said.

"I don't have the details; I just haven't been chasing it, there's been a few other priorities, so that'd give you kind of a sense of where it ranks", acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said before talks at the Pentagon with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya.

North Korea spurned the top USA diplomat as not sufficiently "mature" and offered a hand to Moscow on Thursday in back-to-back moves by Kim Jong Un to possibly reset the terms of his outreach with Washington.

"The design indexes of the tactical guided weapon, whose advantages are appreciated for the peculiar mode of guiding flight and the load of a powerful warhead, were perfectly verified at the test-fire conducted in various modes of firing at different targets", KCNA said.

Harry Kazianis, the Korean studies director for the USA -based Center for the National Interest, noted that Kim never promised to stop all weapons testing.

Kyungnam University's Kim Dong-yub said the latest test appeared to partly be a message to the United States that North Korea would not bow to sanctions.

Kim will be traveling to the country by special train and hold his first summit with Putin on Russky Island off the city of Vladivostok, according to the sources.

USA officials have played down the test of what North Korea has described as a "tactical" weapon, implying a short-range system rather than the ballistic missiles seen as a threat to the United States.

The North Korean media also quoted Kwon Jong Gun, a top Foreign Ministry official, who cautioned that "if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled".

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When Wonhaeng expressed disappointment with the Hanoi summit, Kim said he would do his best to make possible a temple stay program in North Korea.

"They are giving the US till the end of this year to make a deal, but in the meantime, they will bolster their capabilities, untethered from any agreement".

A USA military official said late Wednesday the Pentagon is aware of the reported test, but has no further comment.

The test was announced after satellite images from last week were released showing activity at North Korea's main nuclear site.

In a statement, Kwon's American Affairs Department has said Pompeo was "talking nonsense", had "misrepresented" the North Korean position and had a "talented skill of fabricating stories".

The US said talks broke down because North Korea wanted all sanctions lifted in exchange for scaling back its nuclear capacity, but Pyongyang disputes that.

That followed a New Year's Day speech in which Kim threatened to seek a "new way" if the United States continued to apply sanctions pressure and demand unilateral concessions.

Kim is expected to meet next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Since the beginning of the thaw in relations between the USA and North Korea, Pyongyang has been far happier to deal directly with Trump, who critics fear is too soft on the regime and is not sufficiently versed in diplomacy.

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