N Korea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has lauded the test-firing of a "new-type tactical guided weapon", in what is seen as a move to ramp up pressure on the United States ahead of his planned trip to Russian Federation.

The country's leader inspected and directed a "new tactical guided weapons firing test", according to a report published Wednesday evening by North Korea's new agency KCNA.

The secretive nation's leader Kim Jong Un saw the event and hailed it as having "very weighty significance". Kwon said that no one could predict what may happen if the United States did not stop the "root cause" that made North Korea develop nuclear weapons.

Satellite images from last week showed movement at the Yongbyon nuclear site, which could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in the United States said. North Korea has suspended nuclear and long-range rocket tests.

Kim's move to undertake a new weapons test is likely to be interpreted as a bid for attention after the US hardened its stance in negotiations with North Korea.

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Pompeo made his first overnight trip to North Korea in July to discuss implementing the vague proposals in the Singapore Declaration, which both Kim and Trump signed on the occasion of their first summit.

The announcement came as US -led efforts to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear weapons have stalled after Kim and Trump failed to reach an agreement at their February 27-28 summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has sharpened his rhetoric since the summit between his country and the USA, urging top ruling party members last week to deal a "severe blow to hostile foreign forces" by resisting sanctions.

"Our scientists, technicians and workers are, indeed, great and there is no weapon impossible to make when they are determined to do", Kim said, KCNA reported.

President Donald Trump has had two meetings with the North Korean leader but neither have produced a substantive agreement on the goal of "denuclearization" of the regime. That rules out tests that go high into the atmosphere, such as a ballistic missile, but does not rule out tests at lower altitudes.

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North Korea's Foreign Ministry official Kwon Jong Gun yesterday blamed the collapse of the February Trump-Kim summit on Mr Pompeo and condemned him for "letting loose reckless remarks" - a likely reference to how Mr Pompeo called Mr Kim a "tyrant" at a Senate hearing last week.

The report offered few details about the weapon, except that it was test-fired at various targets, carried a "powerful warhead" and had a "peculiar mode of guiding flight".

AFP quoted Koh Yu-hwan, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University, as saying the test was a message to the United States showing its displeasure over the stalled nuclear talks.

Talks between Kim and Trump in Vietnam earlier this year ended abruptly as the two sides appeared to hit an impasse on the thorny issue of sanctions. USA officials later played down the significance of that test. A South Korean analyst said that the North's media report indicates it could have been a test of a new type of cruise missile.

North Korea on Thursday reported the development of a new tactical weapons system, adding uncertainty to the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

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The test came amid media reports in South Korean and Japan that Kim plans to visit Vladivostok next week for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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