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North Korea orders ‘long-range strike’ drill – state media

North Korea orders ‘long-range strike’ drill – state media
Following two short-range missile launches, North Korea is preparing a long-range launch drill as well, according to Pyongyang’s official news agency.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula rose again on Thursday, after the US seized a North Korean cargo ship and DPRK carried out two short-range missile tests on its western border, overseen by Kim Jong-un personally.

Following the short-range launches, Kim gave the go-ahead for a long-range strike drill as well, according to North Korean news agency KCNA.

Kim said that “genuine peace and security of the country are guaranteed only by the strong physical force capable of defending its sovereignty,” KCNA reported.

Also on rt.com North Korea fires short-range projectiles eastward – S. Korea

North Korea had suspended nuclear and missile tests last year as part of a diplomatic overture to Washington, but the second summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam fizzled in February without a deal. In return for specific steps in dismantling its nuclear program, Pyongyang had asked for a partial removal of US sanctions. Trump refused, reportedly at the urging of his national security advisor, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump has shrugged off the failure of the summit, insisting he still has a good personal relationship with Kim and expressing hope the talks will continue at some point.

“The relationship continues... I know they want to negotiate, they’re talking about negotiating. But I don’t think they’re ready to negotiate,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday morning.

Last month, Kim visited Russia and met with President Vladimir Putin in Vladivostok, asking him to play an intermediary with Washington, among other things.

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