North Korea carries out ‘very significant’ test at satellite launch

North Korea has carried out a ‘very significant’ test at its Sohae satellite launch site hours after it announced denuclearization talks with the U.S. were off the negotiating table. 

State media KCNA reported that the test was carried out on Sunday, local time, but did not specify what was tested at the site previously used to launch rockets into space.

However, local media reports say a new satellite image indicated North Korea may be preparing to resume testing engines used to power satellite launchers at the site. 

Analysts have said the site has never before been used to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, but it has been used to test missile engines. Past satellite launches have helped scuttle talks with the United States.

Missile experts said it appeared likely the North Koreans had conducted a static test of a rocket engine, rather than a missile launch. 

The U.N. bans North Korea from launching satellites because it is considered a test of long-range missile technology. 

The reported test comes as North Korea steps up pressure on the U.S. to make concessions in stalled nuclear talks, and a day after it said that denuclearization was ‘out of the negotiation table’. 

President Donald Trump told reporters in June 2018 after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea had pledged to dismantle one of its missile installations. North Korea carried out a test at a satellite site a day after talks with the U.S. stalled

State media KCNA reported that a 'significant' test was carried out on Sunday, local time, at its Sohae satellite launch site, but did not specify what was tested at the site previously used to launch rockets into space.

State media KCNA reported that a ‘significant’ test was carried out on Sunday, local time, at its Sohae satellite launch site, but did not specify what was tested at the site previously used to launch rockets into space.

Tensions have risen ahead of a year-end deadline set by North Korea, which has called on the U.S. to change its policy of insisting on Pyongyang’s unilateral denuclearization and demanded relief from punishing sanctions. 

President Donald Trump told reporters in June 2018 after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that North Korea had pledged to dismantle one of its missile installations, which U.S. officials later identified as Sohae.

But on Saturday, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, said that the  ‘sustained and substantial dialogue’ sought by the U.S. was a ‘time-saving trick’ to focus on Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. 

Song’s statement came after Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom on Wednesday condemned North Korea’s ‘continued testing of ballistic missiles,’ and called for strict enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang. 

Song added that North Korea does ‘not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now’.  Song also slammed European United Nations Security Council members who criticized the ballistic missile launches.

On Saturday, North Korea's ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, said that the 'sustained and substantial dialogue' sought by the U.S. was a 'time-saving trick' to focus on Trump's 2020 reelection bid.

On Saturday, North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, said that the ‘sustained and substantial dialogue’ sought by the U.S. was a ‘time-saving trick’ to focus on Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.

UN diplomats had feared that North Korea will resume long-range nuclear or ballistic tests if no progress is made soon. 

The ambassador said North Korea was exercising ‘righteous measures of strengthening national defense capabilities.’

‘As these six EU member states are making much trouble to play the role of pet dog of the United States in recent months, one cannot but wonder what do they get in return for currying favor with Washington,’ the statement continued.  

Talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been been in a rut in recent months, several shorter-range missile tests being carried out. 

In a statement translated on the state news agency, Ri Thae Song, a first vice minister at the North Korean Foreign Ministry working on US affairs, accused US policy makers of leveraging talks with Kim Jong Un for domestic political gain, according to CNN.

‘The dialogue touted by the US is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the US,’ Ri said, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

‘It is entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get,’ added Ri. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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