Kim Jong Un supervises test of new tactical guided weapon: KCNA

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USA 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.

Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Seoul's Kyungnam University, said it was likely a short-range cruise missile. "If he really wanted to do a formidable, important, heavy message to the United States or South Korea, he would not have done a minimal test".

Harry Kazianis, the Korean studies director for the US -based Center for the National Interest, noted that Kim never promised to stop all weapons testing.

"However, the USA did not detect a missile launch either time so it must be a short-range system, perhaps an artillery system such as a multiple rocket launcher or an antitank guided missile", he said.

I am afraid that if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled.

The North Korean statement said Pompeo was "misrepresenting the meaning of our requirement" for the negotiations to be finalized by the year's end, and referred to his "talented skill of fabricating stories".

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.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a news conference at a warehouse where worldwide humanitarian aid for Venezuela is being stored, near La Unidad cross-border bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cucuta, Colombia April 14, 2019.

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"Religious exchange between North and South have historically made progress", Kim said at the meeting.

The US and South Korea are seeking to resume denuclearisation talks, which stalled after a summit in Vietnam between Mr Trump and Mr Kim ended in failure in February. He gave a year-end deadline for a change in attitude.

In addition, Kwon said that Kim remains "on good terms as usual" with US President Donald Trump, perhaps signalling North Korea's desire to drive a wedge between the US president and his advisers, including Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, who, according to Pyongyang, have been pushing for the country's complete disarmament before guaranteeing any economic relief.

"The Trump administration has generally chosen to ignore Pyongyang's public signals, including escalating signals of displeasure with the negotiations", he said. He did not elaborate.

Although the test didn't appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle chances of resuming the negotiations, it allowed North Korea to show its people it is pushing ahead with weapons development and reassuring hardline military officials anxious that diplomacy with Washington is a sign of weakness.

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

Kim's visit to the testing site came after he visited the North Korean Air and Anti-aircraft Force on Tuesday.

Mr Trump has said smaller agreements may be reached but that he still wants a "big deal" to rid North Korea of its nuclear arms capabilities.

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