Kim Jong-un - North Korea Politics Today

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North Korea said it successfully performed another “crucial test” at its long-range rocket launch site that will further strengthen its nuclear deterrent. The test — the second at the facility in a week, according to North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science — possibly involved technologies to improve intercontinental ballistic missiles that could potentially reach the continental United States. Pak Jong Chon, chief of the Korean People’s Army’s general staff, asserted on Saturday that North Korea has built up “tremendous power” and that the findings from the recent tests would be used to develop new weapons to allow the country to “definitely and reliably” counter U.S. nuclear threats. The North in recent weeks has been dialing up pressure to coax major concessions from the Trump administration as it approaches an end-of-year deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un to salvage faltering nuclear negotiations. The Academy of Defense Science did not specify what was tested on Friday. Just days earlier, the North said it conducted a “very important test” at the site on the country’s northwestern coast, prompting speculation that it involved a new engine for either an ICBM or a space launch vehicle. The testing activity and defiant statements suggest that the North is preparing to do something to provoke the United States if Washington doesn’t back down and make concessions to ease sanctions and pressure on Pyongyang in deadlocked nuclear negotiations. Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea, was to arrive in Seoul on Sunday for discussions with…

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