North Korea's Kim Personally Oversaw Saturday's Test of 'New Weapon'

Despite missile tests US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is hopeful talks with North Korea about denuclearisation will resume in coming weeks

Despite missile tests US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is hopeful talks with North Korea about denuclearisation will resume in coming weeks

In a Foreign Ministry statement, released a day after it launched what are believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, Pyongyang said its recent launches are just part of the regular process of developing conventional weapons.

Following the latest firings, Trump wrote on Twitter on Saturday evening that Kim told him in a new letter that he wanted to resume the denuclearization talks once the joint exercise between the US and South Korea was over, and that its short range missiles "testing would stop when the exercises end".

Meanwhile, North Korea says it won't talk with South Korea unless Seoul pulls out of its joint exercise with the US or provides a convincing reason.

Pyongyang has test-fired several missiles in recent weeks, including two short-range missiles launched on Saturday.

The intelligence authorities of Seoul and Washington assessed that they were short-range ballistic missiles, but the North said it had tested a "new weapon system" that has "advantageous tactical character" different from its existing weapons systems.

It also published photos showing the missiles and Kim watching as a ball of fire rises in the sky. He also said Kim apologized for the flurry of recent short-range missile tests that has rattled U.S. allies in the region. That's according to a statement released on Sunday morning, by a senior North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of US affairs.

Trump has changed the debate by adding his own criticism of what he has called "war games" as part of his demands that South Korea pay more for maintaining some 28,500 USA troops on the peninsula.

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Hours after the North s latest launches, Trump tweeted that Kim spent much of a letter he wrote to the president complaining about "the ridiculous and expensive" U.S. It has conducted three similar military tests in the last several weeks, many of which appear to violate United Nations resolutions restricting the country from developing or deploying ballistic missiles, according to The New York Times.

South Korea s military had described the previous missiles as similar to the Russian-made Iskander, a solid-fuel, nuclear-capable missile that is highly maneuverable and travels on low trajectories, improving its chances of evading missile defense systems. There have been no nuclear tests.

In the Foreign Ministry statement, Kwon also denounced Seoul for objecting to its launches, saying that even the United States president approved of the missile tests. "No ballistic missile tests, no long-range missiles", Trump said. He said that Kim offered him "a small apology" for the flurry of missile tests, and that he assured him they would stop when the exercises end.

When they last met in June of this year, Trump and Kim agreed to resume working-level nuclear talks that have been stalled since February, but there have been no known meetings between the two sides since then.

"If Kim felt the missile tests could jeopardise the dialogue momentum, he would refrain".

In the statement, Kwon Jong Gun, Director-General of the foreign ministry's department of American affairs, says "even the U.S. president in effect recognizes the self-defensive rights of a sovereign state, saying that it is a small missile test which a lot of countries do".

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