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US NewsPyongyang confirms weapons tests as nuclear talks stall

08:35  05 may  2019
08:35  05 may  2019 Source:   ft.com

Putin praises Kim's efforts to improve ties with rivals

Putin praises Kim's efforts to improve ties with rivals Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Thursday they had good talks about their joint efforts to resolve a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear program, amid stalled negotiations with the United States.

Pyongyang confirmed that it tested multiple long-range rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons , in addition to releasing On Saturday he insisted he would seal a denuclearisation deal with Mr Kim without referring to the actual weapons tests . “Anything in this very interesting world is

North Korea has tested several missiles, by firing them off the country’s eastern coast into the Sea of Japan. СтраницыКомпанииСМИ/информационное агенствоAl Jazeera EnglishВидеоPyongyang confirms weapons test amid stalled nuclear talks .

(Video by: Reuters)

North Korea has confirmed that it tested multiple long-range rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons, in addition to releasing images suggesting that the regime had conducted its first short-range ballistic missile test since August 2017.

Pyongyang confirms weapons tests as nuclear talks stall © ASSOCIATED PRESS This Saturday, May 4, 2019, photo provided on Sunday, May 5, 2019, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observing tests of different weapons systems, in North Korea. State media released the pictures that showed Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, overseeing the tests, which occurred on Saturday morning. The US and South Korea have not confirmed that the tests included a short-range missile.

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Pyongyang promised a “Christmas gift” because no progress had been made on lifting With no diplomatic progress between Washington and Pyongyang since the implosion of the last summit in There was talk of negotiating an interim “ nuclear freeze”; while that would keep the problem from

Pyongyang last conducted a "tactical" weapons test in November 2018. Stalled talks . Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly characterized this most recent weapons test as a multiple rocket launcher test and also mischaracterized the timing of South Korean comments.

While the launch of a short-range ballistic missile would not break the moratorium that North Korea has maintained since November 2017 — the last time it fired a long-range ballistic missile — it complicates the response for President Donald Trump.

Pyongyang confirms weapons tests as nuclear talks stall © AFP This picture taken on May 4, 2019 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 5, 2019 shows rocket launchers firing during a test of weapons in an undisclosed location in North Korea. - North Korea has tested long-range multiple rocket launchers and tactical guided weapons in a "strike drill" overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, state media said. (Photo by KCNA VIA KNS / various sources / AFP) / South Korea OUT / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE --- / KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images Mr Trump has previously rebutted criticism over the ineffectiveness of his approach to North Korea, which has included two high-profile summits with Mr Kim, by stressing that Pyongyang had not tested missiles since 2017. On Saturday he insisted he would seal a denuclearisation deal with Mr Kim without referring to the actual weapons tests.

North Korea fires unidentified projectile - South's military

North Korea fires unidentified projectile - South's military South Korea's military says North Korea has fired at least one unidentified projectile from its western area. It's the second such launch in the last five days. The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff had no other immediate details of the Thursday afternoon launch. North Korea and the United States are currently deadlocked in diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal.

State media says test -firing ushers in ‘new phase’ in country’s defence systems, ahead of nuclear talks A State Department spokeswoman called on Pyongyang to “refrain from provocations” and to Talks aimed at dismantling North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes have been stalled

North Koreans in Pyongyang watch a news report on Friday about the nuclear test . China would stick to its aim of denuclearising the Korean peninsula and “uphold the six-party talks process to The test “examined and confirmed ” specific features of a nuclear warhead designed to be mounted on

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realises the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,” the US president tweeted. “He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!”

Soo Kim, a former CIA North Korea analyst, said Mr Trump’s initial response suggested the US would not be derailed by North Korea’s latest actions.

“The US, if it chooses either to resume ‘fire and fury’ or cave in to Kim’s pressure, would be showing sensitivity — a sign of weakness — to Pyongyang’s actions. We have not seen anything in public that indicates Washington’s major departure from its position,” Ms Kim said.

Pyongyang confirms weapons tests as nuclear talks stall © ASSOCIATED PRESS This Saturday, May 4, 2019, photo provided on Sunday, May 5, 2019, by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, equipped with binoculars, observing tests of different weapons systems, in North Korea. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles, which were launched from the east coast of North Korea, flew north-east roughly 70 to 200 kilometres into the East Sea.

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Japan confirms explosion was nuclear test and lodges protest. Justin McCurry. Japan’s government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has told reporters that the government had determined that Friday’s earthquake was caused by a North Korean nuclear test .

North Korea has confirmed it has conducted its fifth nuclear test , announcing it is now capable of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic rockets. Pyongyang also claimed that no leakage of nuclear material had occurred in the test , and that there was no negative environmental impact.

Jeffrey Lewis, a North Korea and arms control expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said the North Korean images and commercial satellite imagery from Planet Labs that captured the launch left “no doubt” that Pyongyang had tested a short-range ballistic missile.

Mr Lewis said South Korea, which switched its description from short-range missile to “projectiles”, had tried to downplay the significance of the launch.

The move comes as the US and North Korea have been locked in a stalemate since February’s failed summit in Hanoi between Mr Trump and Mr Kim. Several people familiar with the state of talks said Pyongyang was refusing to respond to both US and South Korean attempts to engage with North Korea.

Pyongyang confirms weapons tests as nuclear talks stall © ASSOCIATED PRESS This Saturday, May 4, 2019, photo provided on Sunday, May 5, 2019, by the North Korean government shows a test of weapon systems, in North Korea. Experts said the North Korean leader, who has not launched short-range ballistic missiles since August 2017, was using the tests to galvanise the US to change its negotiating position on denuclearisation and tough economic sanctions.

Trump and Kim battled subordinates ahead of spike in tensions

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Japan confirms explosion was nuclear test and lodges protest. Justin McCurry. Japan’s government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, has told reporters that the government had determined that Friday’s earthquake was caused by a North Korean nuclear test .

UN watchdog’s report raises questions over Pyongyang ’s position on denuclearisation.

“[Mr Kim] is not happy with the current state of affairs, that he’s being squeezed by sanctions. But he’s very careful not to cross the line, not to provoke the US,” said Chun Yung-woo, a former South Korean national security adviser.

The launches sparked a flurry of diplomacy between the US, Japan and South Korea. In South Korea, the presidential Blue House held an emergency meeting while the military ramped up its monitoring for additional launches in co-operation with the US.

Victor Cha, a former White House official who negotiated with North Korea, said: “All of our data shows that as negotiations break down between the US and North Korea, Pyongyang’s behavior becomes more prickly.”

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Mr Kim has said the US has until the end of this year to change its attitude towards the denuclearisation negotiations, leaving Washington facing a delicate diplomatic balancing act.

Andrew Gilholm, a Seoul-based analyst with consultancy Control Risks, added while Mr Kim was “trying to change Washington’s negotiating position, not end negotiations”, doubts remained over Mr Trump’s diplomatic efforts.

“If Washington reverts to insisting on full and final denuclearisation up front, which there is virtually zero chance of Kim accepting, then it is only a matter of time before long-range and nuclear testing resume and diplomacy gives way to another dangerous escalatory cycle,” Mr Gilholm said.

The latest tests will raise tension in the region, coming as Mr Trump prepares to make two trips to Japan — in May to meet the new Japanese emperor and again in late June to attend the G20 summit in Osaka.

Additional reporting by Kang Buseong in Seoul

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