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North Korea's Newest Weapon Test: Short Range, But Long Message



SEOUL, South Korea – Kim Jong-us test of analysts' comments could be a new short-range steering or cruise missile. The North Korean leader shows up in saber-rattling as he attempts to end sanctions that destroy his hope of rejuvenating the economy of the North.

He was ashamed at home when he failed to reach a peace agreement with President Trump at his recent summit in Vietnam. He is struggling to regain power over the United States without provoking the president, analysts said Thursday. 19659002] This week, Mr. Kim escalated under pressure from Mr. Trump, resuming his visits to military units and weapons sites he had generally renounced during his diplomatic engagement with the American leader.

Kim expressed concern about his dealings with Mr. Trump or with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, whose efforts to mediate between Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump have failed.

A rare policy in In a speech last week, Mr. Kim told his people that they should not soon expect sanctions relief and prepare for a "protracted" fight against the United States. But he also said he would consider meeting Mr. Trump if Washington offered a new deal he could accept by the end of the year.

His visit to a military air base on Tuesday – where he saw Russian Air Force pilots watch MiG fighters focus on an air force that has been hit hard by sanctions and whose fighter jets rely on fuel shortages. In what analysts called a sanctions refusal show, the North Korean news media released photos of fighter jets observed by Mr. Kim.

But it was Mr. Kim's presence in the trial of a "new tactical guide" weapon, "Thursday's clearest signal for Washington announced that the tactics of the North were hardening.

Representatives of the United States, South Korea, and Japan refused to comment on what kind of weapon North Korea was testing, and said they would still analyze available data. The projectile spanned a short range and flew so low that it was not caught by the radar of the US Northern Command routinely pursuing North Korean missiles, the South Korean news agency Yonhap said, citing unnamed sources of defense.

The weapon Most likely it was a short-range guided missile, such as the Israel-made spike rocket, which flies low and normally travels only a very short distance, said Shin Jong-woo, a weapons expert at the Korea Defense Forum, an in-depth Seoul-based network military analysts.

Shin Won-sik, a retired three-star general in Seoul, said North Korea has never stopped trying to improve the accuracy of its short-range missiles, despite Mr. Kim's diplomatic confrontation with Mr. Trump.

At a press conference in Seoul on Thursday, a South Korean defense official repeatedly stifled questions from journalists looking for more information. Similarly, Japanese officials were reluctant to address developments.

North Korea performed its last major weapons test in November 2017 when it launched an intercontinental missile. But Kim has since declared a moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile examinations.

North Korea cautiously plays its cards by testing a short-range tactical weapon, analysts say. Mr. Kim can put pressure on Washington with such a test, but he can continue to claim that he has not given up the moratorium.

Karl Dewey, a senior analyst at Jane's IHS Markit, said North Korea's "stress on the weapon's tactical nature" aimed primarily at a domestic audience, rather than a shift in strategic approach

Other analysts said the test was an ominous signal to Washington.

It is a message from Kim Jong-un that he is no longer familiar with Trump or Moon Jae-in and is ready to go his own way, "said Lee Byong-chul, another North Korean expert at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies. "He shows that under American pressure there will be no bumps or compromises. This could be Mr Kim's first step to increase tensions on the Korean peninsula. "

Speaking Thursday at Auburn University in Alabama, Gina Haspel, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said:" I'm very proud. We've been able to support this government's efforts to bring the North Koreans into dialogue. "

" After years of failure, I think President Trump has shown much wisdom in extending his hand to North Korea and suggesting there might be another future for the North Korean people, "she added.

The test by North Korea took place in the midst of news reports stating that Kim had planned a meeting with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin in the Far East city of Vladivostok next week, and on Thursday the Kremlin said in a brief statement that the two were in North Korea relies on China and Russia, which have vetoed the United Nations Security Council to serve as a buffer against US efforts to impose further sanctions Russia also hosts tens of thousands of North Korean workers, who are an important source of much-needed hard W the regime of Mr Kim. A report by the United Nations Sanctions Committee has accused Russian organizations of being involved in illegal ship-to-ship oil and coal shipments to help North Korea circumvent sanctions.

North Korea is dependent on China for over 93 percent of its foreign trade. But with Beijing hooked up with the trade war with Washington, the North Koreans need Russian aid more than ever to mitigate the pain of sanctions, the analysts said.

"Kim does not want to lay all his eggs in China's eggs basket, since North Korea's livelihood is heavily dependent on the country," said David Kim, a research analyst at the Stimson Center in Washington, via e-mail. "Kim Jong-un wants to show the US that China is not their only option."

In a further sign of desperation in his dealings with the United States, North Korea said on Thursday that relations between Mr Kim and Mr Trump existed English: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art…2934 & lang = en The talks could not continue unless Washington removed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from his team. It blamed his "interference" on the collapse of the Vietnam meeting.

"Even if the talks with the United States resume, I hope that we as interlocutors can not have Pompeo, but someone else who is better and more mature in communication," said Kwon Jong-gun, an official the North Korean Foreign Ministry, which is responsible for American affairs, to the official Korean news agency of the North.


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