North Korea Test-Fires New Weapon, First Since Trump-Kim Vietnam Summit

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US 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.

Pompeo has said some minor relief, including the possible easing of travel restrictions, could be considered in the short- to medium-term but that the crippling sanctions the North most wants removed will not be lifted until it fulfills what he says have been Kim's repeated pledges to Trump to completely denuclearize.

Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Seoul's Kyungnam University, said it was likely a short-range cruise missile.

Pompeo's recent attitude on talks between the United States and North Korea has been dismissive, and he has argued North Korea has already committed to everything that the U.S. wanted without getting sanctions relief, and the USA expects them to comply with the demands.

The U.S. and South Korean governments have so far not commented on the test.

Meanwhile, commercial satellite photos from last week showed increased activity at North Korea's main nuclear site, according to a USA research organization.

"Kim is trying to make a statement to the Trump administration that his military potential is growing by the day, and that his regime is becoming frustrated with Washington's lack of flexibility in recent negotiations", he said in an emailed statement.

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"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.

South Korea's presidential office has confirmed a CNN report that President Moon Jae-in has a message from United States President Donald Trump to deliver to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The U.S. State Department has said Washington had nothing to do with it.

"Pompeo is not frozen out as long as Trump wants him to do the job, and the North Koreans have to live with that", Yun added. He gave a year-end deadline for a change in attitude.

In the Bloomberg interview, Bolton said that for a third Trump-Kim summit to take place, "a real indication from North Korea that they've made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons", would be needed.

Kim made the remarks while visiting with Wonhaeng, the president of South Korea's Jogye Order of Buddhism.

"We will continue to press North Korea to abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction, ballistic missiles related programs and facilities", Pompeo said. In November, Kim oversaw the test of what KCNA also referred to as a newly developed "high-tech tactical weapon".

North Korea's foreign ministry accused Pompeo of playing down the significance of comments by Kim, who said last week that Washington has until the end of the year to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy.

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