Kim Jong Un oversees test of new weapon with 'powerful warhead'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attending a wreath laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum

The White House's more skeptical tone comes after Trump walked out of a February 28 summit with Kim, saying the North Korean leader was seeking significant sanctions relief without indicating a willingness to fully dismantle his nuclear program.

The North's Kim said in a key policy speech earlier this month that he is willing to hold a third summit with Trump if the United States comes up with a new proposal that's acceptable to Pyongyang by the end of the year.

North Korea has criticised U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's "nonsense" call for Pyongyang to show that it's serious about giving up its nuclear weapons, the second time it has criticised a leading U.S. official in less than a week.

Kim's Hanoi summit with Trump, the second between the two men, ended abruptly, with North Korea later protesting that the United States was being unreasonable in its demands. "Looks like they are working on antiaircraft capabilities with the last test and this one", Georgetown University professor Victor Cha, an expert on North Korea, told The Washington Post.

Kim indicated, however, that he would in the meantime maintain his self-imposed moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and he appears to be standing by that vow. "So far, North Korea has not walked away from the table, but they also have resisted pressure to make substantive progress on the nuclear question".

Kim Yeon-chul, the new unification minister and former head of the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government-run think tank, said Friday he would do his "best" to make a temple stay program in the North a reality, Tongil News reported.

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

Japan has advocated a tough approach to the North in contrast to South Korea, which has pushed for a step-by-step approach that would lift some global sanctions as incentives.

Despite Pompeo's comments, the future of USA engagement with North Korea has appeared to be in limbo since the summit, with no sign of direct contact between the two sides.

A North Korean official, Kim Chang Son, traveled to Vladivostok this week and was seen on Wednesday inspecting the Pacific port city's train station and making security checks, Russia's RIA news agency reported on Thursday. "Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate on full implementation of all U.N. Security Council resolutions", he said in reference to worldwide sanctions the world body has imposed on the North.

"I don't have the details; I just haven't been chasing it, there's been a few other priorities, so that'd give you kind of a sense of where it ranks", acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said before talks at the Pentagon with his Japanese counterpart Takeshi Iwaya.

Trump administration officials have floated the possibility of a third summit.

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