Kim ends freeze of nuclear and missile tests

Kim ends freeze of nuclear and missile tests
Kim has called for active 'diplomatic and military countermeasures' to preserve the country's security. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would continue developing nuclear programmes and introduce a “new strategic weapon” in the near future.

“The world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future,” Kim said.

Kim said this on January 1 after the United States missed a year-end deadline for a restart of denuclearisation talks.

North Korea’s state television KCNA quoted Kim ‘As the US makes gangster-like demands including continuing joint military drills with South Korea, adopting cutting-edge weapons and imposing sanctions, there were no grounds for North Korea to be bound any longer by the self-declared nuclear and inter-continental ballistic missile test moratorium’.

But he left a door open for dialogue, and said the scope of any testing would depend on the US’s “attitude”.

Kim arranged a rare four-day meeting of the ruling Worker’s party’s policymaking committee since Saturday. The meeting was unusual and rare, but it is considered that he arranged the meeting after his repeated calls for concessions to reopen negotiations with the US. The North gave a deadline of December 31 to reopen the nuclear talks, which the US dismissed and called “artificial”.

Hours after Kim’s statement published, President Trump told reporters that Kim had signed a contract about denuclearisation and that he thought the North Korean leader was a “man of his word.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped North Korea would “choose peace and prosperity over conflict and war.”

US military commanders said Pyongyang’s actions could include the testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), that North Korea claimed could reach the US mainland. The testing has halted since 2017.

Tensions have been rising between the two nations after Trump-Kim second summit in Hanoi failed. The tensions get intense in the year-end when Kim said he would give US a ‘Christmas Gift’ if the country failed to reopen the nuclear talks.

Trump reportedly mocked the comment. He said last week ‘Maybe it’s present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test. I may get a vase. I may get a nice present from him. You don’t know. You never know’.