North Korean leader Kim to meet Russia's Putin this month

North Korea launches new missile in provocative move

The use of the word "tactical" to describe the combat systems could indicate they are short range, and not previously tested missiles which could potentially carry nuclear warheads to U.S. territory.

But they said it does not close the door on diplomacy or negotiations about North Korea's nuclear program.

In an interview with Bloomberg, national security adviser John Bolton said that while Trump is open to a third summit with Kim, North Korea needs to prove its commitment.

FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by two military officials, observes a Korean People's Air Force training flight at undisclosed location in this April 16, 2019, photo released April 17, 2019, by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA).

A White House official said: "We are aware of the report and have no further comment".

Instead, the North has carried out smaller provocations.

"In November, we had a similar tactical weapon test after the USA and South Korea resumed the suspended Korea Marine Exchange Program drills", he said.

By visiting Russia, Kim is trying to demonstrate to the USA that he is not isolated, if matters don't work out with Trump, said Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert and professor at Kookmin University in Seoul. "It shows that North Korea is going on, business as usual, after the failed Hanoi summit". Kim has only offered limited steps toward denuclearization.

Speaking at an event in Texas this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the North Korean leader had promised Donald Trump to denuclearise, saying "our teams are working with the North Koreans to chart a path forward so that we can get there".

Despite the failure of the Vietnam summit, Trump has stressed his good relationship with Kim.

Senior North Korean foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun also used his statement to make cryptic statements about the relationship between the US and North Korea, via the country's official KCNA news agency.

The Kremlin has written off North Korea's Soviet-era debts, but attempts at broader co-operation have stalled. That visit followed Pompeo's hosting a lavish dinner in NY for North Korea's senior diplomats; the meal featured upscale versions of classic American dishes.

Regardless, the weapon doesn't appear to have been nuclear-capable, since usually such arms are referred to as "strategic", rather than "tactical".

But it claimed the weapon has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" as well as "a powerful warhead".

North Korea accused U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of "talking nonsense" and demanded his removal from nuclear talks.

"South Korea is likely to have brought up sanctions (in the summit) but the U.S. has said that it is too early to ease sanctions".

Analysts cite anecdotal evidence out of North Korea that the country's economy is deteriorating under the impact of sanctions, making Kim's plans to reform the economy unworkable.

Park Hwee Rhak says whether or not Wednesday's test violates the North's testing moratorium is a moot point, because the moratorium is unwritten and self-imposed, and not the result of any agreement.

Russian Federation is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea's mineral resources, including rare metals.

Earlier this week, Trump said talks with North Korea "are moving along just perfectly".

North Korea has not tested any strategic weapons, such as nuclear devices or long-range missiles since late 2017.



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