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North Korea

US ‘confident’ in Kim’s denuclearisation promise despite North Korea’s new hi-tech weapons testing

  • Kim Jong-un signed a vaguely worded denuclearisation pledge with President Trump last June
  • State Department’s says it is in talks with Pyongyang about implementing the agreements made at the June Trump-Kim summit
PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 11:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2018, 8:36pm

The United States remains confident that denuclearisation “promises” made during a historic summit between Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un will be fulfilled, the State Department said on Thursday.

The comments came after state media in Pyongyang said Kim had supervised the testing of a “hi-tech” new weapon that Yonhap news agency called successful.

“At the Singapore Summit, President Trump and Chairman Kim made a number of commitments regarding final, fully verified denuclearisation and creating a brighter future for North Korea,” the US statement said.

“We are talking with the North Koreans about implementing all of those commitments,” it continued. “The President has made clear that if Kim Jong-un denuclearises, there is a bright future for North Korea.”

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“We remain confident that the promises made by President Trump and Chairman Kim will be fulfilled.”

Kim reportedly said that the new weapons system was one that his father, Kim Jong-il, was especially interested in during his lifetime, having led the development personally.

“The state-of-the art weapon that has been long developed under the leadership of our party’s dynamic leadership has a meaning of completely safeguarding our territory and significantly improving the combat power of our people’s army,” Yonhap cited KCBS as reporting.

State news agency KCNA quoted Kim as saying the newly developed tactical weapon was “groundbreaking”.

“This result today is a justification of the party’s policy focused on defence science and technology, another display of our rapidly-growing defence capabilities to the whole region, and a groundbreaking change in strengthening our military’s combat capabilities,” Kim reportedly said.

Trump and Kim met at a historic summit in Singapore in June, where they signed a vaguely worded document on denuclearisation of the peninsula.

Progress has since stalled as Washington and Pyongyang spar over the meaning of the document, and a return to testing would cast grave doubts over the future of the process.

The North Korean reports of a new weapon did not specify the device involved but said the “hi-tech tactical weapon” had been developed over a long period and “builds impregnable defences of our country and strengthens the fighting power of our people’s army.”

Pyongyang’s suspension of testing for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles has been key to this year’s rapid diplomatic developments and North Korean-US negotiations, and has received repeated praise from Trump.