North Korean leader Kim Jong Un accused the Trump administration of dragging its feet in nuclear negotiations and warned that his country will soon show a new strategic weapon to the world as it bolsters its nuclear deterrent in the face of “gangster-like” US pressure. In a key ruling party conference, Kim also threatened “shocking” action and said North Korea would no longer be obligated to maintain a self-imposed suspension on the testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, which President Trump has touted as a major diplomatic accomplishment. But Kim gave no clear indication that the restarting of such tests was imminent and seemed to leave the door open for eventual negotiations, the AP reports.
Kim’s comments during a four-day plenary meeting of the Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, which were published by state media on Wednesday, come as talks falter between Washington and Pyongyang over disagreements involving disarmament steps and the removal of sanctions imposed on North Korea. The prolonged standstill has dimmed hopes for achieving a full and verifiable denuclearization of the country through diplomacy. Kim during the party meeting declared that the North will never give up its security for economic benefits in the face of what he described as increasing US hostility and nuclear threats, the Korean Central News Agency said. In an interview with CBS News, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it would be “deeply disappointing” if Kim reneges on his commitment to pause nuclear and long-range missile tests. (Much more on Kim's comments here.)