Kim threatens to resume nuclear, long-range missile tests

Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reviews the military units participating in the country’s largest-ever live-fire drill to mark the 85th founding anniversary of its armed forces on April 25, 2017, in this photo released by the party organ Rodong Sinmun the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap/IANS)

Pyongyang, Jan 1 (IANS) North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said that his country would soon introduce a “new strategic weapon” in the near future, adding that he sees little reason to stick to his country’s suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests, he had put in place during talks with the US.

Talks between North Korea and the US have stalled with Washington refusing to lift sanctions until Pyongyang fully abandons its nuclear programme. The North conducted several smaller weapons tests late in 2019, in what was seen as an attempt to pressure the US into making concessions, the BBC reported.

Speaking at a party meeting here on Wednesday, Kim said North was no longer bound by the self-declared moratorium, as the US continued joint military drills with South and had stepped up their sanctions.

“Under such condition, there is no ground for us to get unilaterally bound to the commitment any longer, the commitment to which there is no opposite party, and this is chilling our efforts for worldwide nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,” state news agency KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

He also threatened that “the world will witness a new strategic weapon” by the North “in the near future”, while giving no further details.

In response to the North Korean leader’s latest threats, US President Donald Trump told reporters that he and Kim “did sign a contract, talking about denuclearisation”.

“I think he’s a man of his word,” he said, as he headed into New Year events in Florida.

US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo said he hoped the North would choose peace over war.

Kim andTrump held face-to-face talks in Singapore in June 2018, and in Vietnam in February 2019, aimed at denuclearisation.

The two leaders also held an “impromptu” meeting at the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea in June.

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