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North Korea issues veiled threat to restart testing of nuclear bombs and long-range missiles

NORTH Korea hinted today that it could resume testing of nuclear explosives and long-range missiles in response to “hostile moves” by the United States.

The official Korean Central News Agency said that leader Kim Jong Un had presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers Party’s politburo which set policy goals for “immediately bolstering” military capabilities to counter the threat from Washington.

Officials gave instructions to “reconsider in an overall scale the trust-building measures that we took on our own initiative … and to promptly examine the issue of restarting all temporally suspended activities,” the news agency reported.

The North has stepped up its weapons demonstrations recently, including four rounds of missile launches this month, apparently seeking to press the US to end a prolonged freeze in nuclear diplomacy.

Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry had already warned of stronger action after the Biden administration imposed fresh sanctions last week over the continued missile tests.

Last night, the United Nations security council was due to meet behind closed doors to discuss North Korea and non-proliferation matters.

China repeated its condemnation of US sanctions against North Korea, with a Foreign Ministry briefing calling them a source of tension on the Korean Peninsula.

Beijing has avoided criticising the North over its recent missile launches and endorsed a return to Chinese-hosted multinational disarmament talks that have been stalled since 2008.

Mr Kim announced a unilateral suspension of his country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests in 2018, as he initiated talks with then US president Donald Trump in a bid to gain economic benefits.

But negotiations have stalled since their second summit in 2019, when Washington rejected Pyongyang’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

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