On April 17th, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un supervised and guided a test-fire of a “new-type tactical guided weapon conducted by the Academy of Defence Science.
The new guided weapon would significantly increase the combat power of the People’s Army, the KCNA reported.
The tests of the guided flight capabilities of the missile, as well as the “powerful warhead,” were all passed successfully.
“After watching the power of the new-type tactical guided weapon, he pointed out that our national defence scientists and workers in the field of the munitions industry performed another great work in increasing the country’s defence capabilities, saying with pride that he had always been struck with admiration at them in the period of developing strategic weapon and our scientists, technicians and workers are, indeed, great and there is no weapon impossible to make when they are determined to do.”
— Strategic Sentinel (@StratSentinel) April 17, 2019
It is unclear what exactly the missile was, but if it is “tactical” it suggests that it’s a short-range weapon, rather than a long-range ICBM.
This supervision of a weapon test is the first one Kim Jong Un takes part in since the failed meeting between him and US President Donald Trump on February 28th.
The North Korean leader earlier gave Washington until the end of the year to make a “courageous decision” on the stalled nuclear talks. He also warned of “very bleak and very dangerous” consequences if the US does not change its approach.
Donald Trump responded to Kim via twitter.
“I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand. North Korea has tremendous potential for extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim. I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!”
Trump said in March that he “would be very disappointed if I saw testing.”
In a separate report, the KCNA released a statement by the North Korean Foreign Ministry. Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of American Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea condemned the fact that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discarded Kim’s remarks regarding a possible meeting with Trump by the end of 2019.
“In his historic policy speech at the First Session of the 14th Supreme People’s Assembly, Comrade Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, has clarified the principled stand on the DPRK-U.S. relations and settlement of the nuclear issue and said he would wait in patience till the end of this year to see whether the United States makes a courageous decision or not.
Everyone has a clear interpretation of his speech which says that the U.S. should change its way of calculation and come up with responsive measures before the end of this year. Just at this time, only Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of the State, is talking nonsense that its meaning is to finish the working level negotiation between the DPRK and the U.S. by the end of the year, which subjects him to public ridicule.”
North Korea demanded that in order for any future negotiations to yield results, Pompeo shouldn’t be a part of them.
“The meaning is that the U.S. should get rid of the root cause that pushed us into a nuclear state and obstacles on the way to denuclearization by its own hands; otherwise no one can predict how the situation on the Korean peninsula will turn out.
While Pompeo is fabricating stories after his own taste and trying to raise his publicity stunt at the sacrifice of the DPRK-U.S. relations as a whole, it is fortunate that the personal relationship between our Chairman of the State Affairs Commission and President Trump is on good terms as usual and our Chairman is pleased to get on well with President Trump.”
The Hanoi summit, according to Kwon Jong Gun was proof that “wherever Pompeo pokes his nose,” talks go wrong without any results.
Thus, as a result North Korea asked the US to appoint an Envoy who is “more careful and more mature in communicating with us.”
Vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui in March blamed Pompeo and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton for the breakdown of talks at the February Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un is also to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. On April 15th, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that preparations for a long-rumored Kim-Putin summit are underway. There is no official date of the meeting yet.
Separately, Disobedient Media reported of smuggling on the North Korean border and claimed that MSM has misrepresented images of North Korean installations at locations such as the Sohae Satellite Launching Station and the Sanumdong Research and Development Facility.
“While much of the media coverage tends to be manipulated with the intention of aggravating tensions between North Korea and the outside world, real evidence of smuggling along the DPRK’s northern border can easily be identified even by members of the public. Disobedient Media has been able to pinpoint a number locations where cross-border smuggling was occurring using Google Earth. This kind of activity not only violates sanctions, but also poses a security risk to the DPRK since it reduces their ability to control who can enter and exit the country.”
Thus, reportedly North Korea also tries to combat smuggling. The fight against smuggling is in its early stages, as the North recently began undertaking steps to seek a peaceful resolution to their 66 year-old conflict with the US and South Korea.
Following are satellite images, provided by Digital Globe and with additions by Disobedient Media, presenting some typical smuggling positions and the methods via which it is carried out.
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