N. Korea hints at lifting moratorium on ICBM, nuke tests

Seoul, Jan 20 (IANS) North Korea held a policymaking politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party presided over by leader Kim Jong-un and decided to consider restarting “all temporally-suspended” activities, apparently referring to its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Thursday.
The meeting took place after the North conducted four missile tests this month, including two of what it claims to be a hypersonic missile, prompting the US to slap new sanctions on the regime, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The US is leading a campaign within the .N Security Council to extend its own sanctions, with a closed-door council meeting on the issue scheduled to be held Thursday.
During the session held on Wednesday, the participants vowed preparations for a “long-term confrontation” with Washington, saying the “hostile policy and military threat by the US have reached a danger line that can not be overlooked any more”, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“It gave an instruction to a sector concerned to reconsider in an overall scale the trust-building measures that we took on our own initiative on a preferential ground and to promptly examine the issue of restarting all temporally-suspended activities,” the KCNA said.
North Korea has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and ICBM testing since late 2017.
“The meeting of the Political Bureau reassigned the policy tasks for the national defence of immediately bolstering more powerful physical means which can efficiently control the hostile moves of the US against the DPRK getting ever more serious day by day,” it said.
DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Last week, the Joe Biden administration announced fresh sanctions on six North Koreans involved in the regime’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes.

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