North Korea's Kim Jong Un Touts Strategic Weapon amid Stall in Talks

Kim Jong Un seen here at a Workers’ Party meeting this week has increased threats against the United States

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Cheong speculated a high possibility that the strategic weapons Kim mentioned may refer to new inter-continental ballistic missiles or submarine-launched ballistic missiles, which the regime could test fire in 2020.

Since taking over his country following the death of his father and predecessor, Kim Jong-il, in 2011, Mr. Kim has accelerated his country's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

His arsenal is now estimated to include up to 50 nuclear bombs and various delivery systems, including solid-fuel missiles created to beat missile-defence systems and developmental ICBMs potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

Kim has also strengthened his negotiating position, moving the diplomacy closer to an arms reduction negotiation between nuclear states rather than talks that would culminate in a unilateral surrender of the weapons he sees as his strongest guarantee of survival. "North Korea's new "strategic weapon" might not be ready", Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said.

Tensions between the US and North Korea have ratcheted up in recent months following the collapse of talks in February in Hanoi.

Kim Jong-un is giving up on hopes that US President Donald Trump will lift sanctions anytime soon.

Mr. Trump, who has met Mr. Kim three times, has often cited the North's restraint as a major diplomatic achievement.

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The UN Security Council's sanctions on North Korea appear at risk of being watered down as China and Russian Federation call for them to be eased.

North Korea took "preemptive and crucial measures of halting its nuclear test and ICBM test fire and shutting down the nuclear test ground", as part of its negotiations with the USA but wasn't rewarded with "appropriate measures", Kim said.

"Non-proliferation remains a fundamental pillar of global nuclear security", he added.

Still, despite the fears of a return to 2017, any negative reaction from Trump over rising tensions could also open the door to diplomatic benefits for Tokyo, said Oba.

Kim previous year had said the North would pursue a "new way" if the Trump administration doesn't make concessions to salvage the negotiations by the end of December.

Kim at the party meeting declared the North will never give up its security for economic benefits in the face of what he described as increasing US hostility and nuclear threats, the Korean Central News Agency said. Kim's government has launched a series of missile tests over the past several months and promised further showings of force in the coming year, while publicly dismissing the possibility that an agreement will be reached with the U.S. Meanwhile, Trump has continued to claim that he has a positive relationship with Kim and downplayed the threat.

The United States and European Union nations intend to maintain sanctions unless North Korea takes concrete steps toward denuclearization.

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In actuality, North Korea hasn't taken any actions to denuclearize, rejected the USA depiction of progress, and continued to build missiles and nuclear weapons.

"If Chairman Kim has reneged on the commitments he made to President Trump, that is deeply disappointing".

"He likes me, I like him, we get along", Trump said. "But he did sign a contract; he did sign an agreement talking about denuclearization", he added. "I think he's a man of his word, so we'll find out, but I think he's a man of his word".

Still, however, Kim appeared to have left room for negotiations as he also said during a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party that how much the North will bolster its "nuclear deterrent" will depend on the future U.S. attitude. US Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo said he hoped the North would choose peace over war.

After a four-day Korea Workers' Party plenum meeting, North Korea left the door to negotiations open the tiniest of cracks, with the "scope and depth" of its nuclear and missile deterrent contingent on a dramatically altered US policy. Pompeo has repeatedly claimed that Kim agreed to abandon its nuclear and missile arsenals in a complete, verifiable, irreversible manner as required by United Nations resolutions.

Continuing, Scarborough argued that "obviously that's not the case", noting that analysts of North Korea and experts had long questioned the reality of Trump's promises.

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

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All of the North's state media gave prominent coverage to Mr. Kim's remarks, indicating that they may have replaced an annual New Year's Day speech that he had been expected to deliver. No speech was broadcast as of Wednesday afternoon, though Koh said a broadcast or statement could come later.

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