Russian Federation confirms Putin-Kim talks for 'second half of April'

A view of what researchers describe as a probably 20 ft shipping container near the uranium enrichment plant at the Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center in North Pyongan Province North Korea

North Korea reportedly tests new tactical guided weapon

Kyungnam University's Kim Dong-yub said the latest test appeared to partly be a message to the United States that North Korea would not bow to sanctions.

KCNA reported Thursday that North Korea test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon the day before, while on Tuesday, state media said Kim inspected an air force training site.

"The development and completion of this weapons system will be a great historic event in strengthening the combat capability of the People's Army", he reportedly said.

The posturing comes after Kim expressed deep disappointment earlier this month with what North Korea claims were inflexible, "gangster-like" demands by the United States in Hanoi.

It also comes after satellite imagery suggested heightened activity at a nuclear test site. The following month Washington imposed a new round of sanctions on Pyongyang. A string of increasingly powerful weapons tests in 2017 and Trump's response of "fire and fury" had many fearing war before the North shifted to diplomacy. The elder Kim visited Russian Federation three times including earlier trips in 2001 and 2002 while Putin traveled to North Korea in 2000.

Putin is to visit China later this month, and some media speculated that he could meet with Kim in Vladivostok, the far eastern port city near the border with North Korea.

"Everyone has a clear interpretation of his speech which says that the USA should change its way of calculation and come up with responsive measures before the end of this year", Kwon said.

Upping the ante in the diplomatic standoff, North Korea's foreign ministry on Thursday described Pompeo as "reckless" and immature and said it wanted him replaced.

Last year, Kim had also overseen a test of an unidentified "tactical weapon" in November, which could protect North Korea like a "steel wall", according to state media, which experts said was part of Kim's initiative to shift the mainstay of the conventional military power from a almost 1.3 million-strong army to high-tech weapons. The dispatch announcing the test was brief, noting the missile has a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and "a powerful warhead", according to the KCNA. Kim Jong-un is expected to ask Putin for help in easing global sanctions.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would be a good idea. -North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Feb. 28, 2019.

"Not a ballistic missile".

"This looks like a new form of cruise missile", he said.

Referring to the test, a White House official said: "We are aware of the report and have no further comment".

The presidential office in Seoul said it had no comment, AFP said. It said the test was conducted by the Academy of Defense Science.

After the animosity of 2017, last year saw a stunning turn to diplomacy, culminating in the first-ever summit between the USA and North Korea in Singapore, and then the Hanoi talks this year.

Shortly after his first election, Putin sought to re-invigorate ties with North Korea, visiting Pyongyang in July 2000 en route to a summit of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in Okinawa.

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