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14 Dec, 2019 15:08

Fresh tests to be used for ‘strategic weapons,’ US should back off for a ‘peaceful’ year’s end – North Korea’s military

Fresh tests to be used for ‘strategic weapons,’ US should back off for a ‘peaceful’ year’s end – North Korea’s military

According to North Korea’s state news agency, recent launch tests “will be applied in developing strategic weapons” to deter the United States. Pyongyang also warned Washington to refrain from “provocation.”

Pyongyang’s military carried out a test at a satellite launch site on Friday, its second in a week. The maneuver came after a revival of activity at the Sohae site, which the North partially dismantled in 2018 following talks between Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.

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The tests “will be applied in developing strategic weapons aimed at subduing US nuclear threats,” state news network KCNA reported on Saturday quoting the country’s Chief of the General Staff Pak Jong Chon. He cautioned that “hostile forces, including the US, should refrain from provocation,” if they want to spend the year’s end “peacefully.”

The warning comes after Pyongyang warned it’s up to the US to choose its “Christmas gift.” Kim has set a year-end deadline for the US to soften its stance on denuclearization, lest North Korea choose a “new path.”

Though Kim and Trump have met in person three times, peace talks have stagnated.

Trump responded to Kim’s promise of a Christmas gift by calling the North Korean leader “Rocket Man” again. However, the US president followed this up with a softer warning, saying Kim “is too smart and has far too much to lose” to abandon negotiations. 

As Kim’s “new path” approaches, Washington has dispatched North Korea envoy Stephen Biegun to South Korea, where he will discuss the goal of “a complete denuclearization and enduring peace” with the government in Seoul.

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