N.Korea’s Kim stressed armaments, defense industry at key party meeting

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the Third Enlarged Meeting of the Seventh Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in this undated photo released on December 22, 2019, by North Korea’s news agency KCNA. (Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un discussed foreign affairs, armaments and the defense industry at a key ruling Workers’ Party meeting on Sunday, state media KCNA said on Monday.

Kim convened a meeting of top party officials on Saturday to pore over important policy matters ahead of a year-end deadline he has set for the United States to soften its stance in stalled denuclearization talks.

Kim emphasized the need to take “positive and offensive measures for fully ensuring the sovereignty and security of the country as required by the present situation,” KCNA said, adding the meeting was still under way.

North Korea has urged Washington to offer a new approach to resume negotiations, warning that it may take an unspecified “new path” if the United States fails to meet its expectations.

US military commanders said the move could include the testing of a long-range missile, which North Korea has suspended since 2017, along with nuclear warhead tests.

Washington would be “extraordinarily disappointed” if North Korea tests a long-range or nuclear missile, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Sunday, vowing to take appropriate action as a leading military and economic power.

The United States had opened channels of communication with North Korea and hoped Kim would follow through on his denuclearization commitments he made at summits with US President Donald Trump, O’Brien said.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01