Donald Trump's national security advisor said Sunday that the U.S. president would be "pretty disappointed" if North Korea conducted a new missile test, but he refused to confirm reports that such a test may be near.
This comes after American websites released satellite photos revealing restored structures at a North Korean long-range launch facility, which were dismantled past year at the start of denuclearization talks.
Despite the fact that the situation on the Korean peninsula has significantly improved since a series of high-level talks past year between North Korea and the South as well as the United States, the country is still subject to global sanctions. We've seen a lot in North Korea.
President Trump and his top advisers expressed optimism through the weekend that diplomatic efforts on denuclearization talks with Pyongyang can be revived, despite reports of North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear activity.
-North Korea diplomacy. "I wonder if North Korea should avoid" such an action, Moon said in a panel discussion.
As North Korea appears to be preparing for a potential missile launch, a report from the Los Angeles Times reports that the North Korean regime is simultaneously lobbying for increased humanitarian aid through the United Nations, for assistance with a food shortage in the country.
Experts are divided over Pyongyang's plans, but whatever its intentions, a launch would shatter the fragile US-North Korea relationship and revive the angry language that had stoked fears of a military conflict at the start of the Trump presidency. "We hope the North side will make a wise decision ... which would benefit all", ministry spokesman Kim In-Chul told reporters. We'll take a look.
"I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim", Trump said on Wednesday.
"We see exactly what they are doing", he said. "It'll ultimately get solved".
North Korea favours a more step-by-approach, with Kim proposing dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for lifting the main sanctions - a notion Trump refused in Hanoi despite the vaunted "chemistry" between the pair.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said last week that there's no more urgent task than developing his country's economy and improving its people's lives.