N.Korea tests new type of weapon

BEIJING (China Daily/ANN) - Pyongyang said on Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon on Wednesday and at the same time demanded that United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo no longer be included in bilateral nuclear talks, which remain stalled.

Supervised by top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un, the test came after Kim and US President Donald Trump failed to reach an agreement during their second meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a news briefing on Thursday that the process of a political settlement of the nuclear issue is at a crucial stage, and he called on the parties concerned to meet each other halfway and promote denuclearization on the peninsula.

China always encourages and supports relevant parties to strengthen dialogue and work together to keep up momentum for an easing of the situation which conforms to the interests of not only Pyongyang and Washington, but the region as a whole, Lu said.

The Korean Central News Agency said Kim described the test-firing development as “an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the Korean People’s Army”.

Da Zhigang, a researcher of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences, said that the test-firing is meant to exert “low-intensity pressure” on the US.

He added that the DPRK hopes to boost the confidence of its people and safeguard its sovereignty and independence through the test-firing.

Also on Thursday, the DPRK demanded the removal of Pompeo from stalled nuclear talks, accusing him of derailing discussions.

“I am afraid that if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled,” Kwon Jong-gun, director general of the Department of American Affairs at the DPRK’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying by KCNA.

“Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of dialogue with the US, I wish our dialogue counterpart would not be Pompeo but (another) person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us.”

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