Trump says Kim ready to restart talks

Trump says Kim ready to start negotiations as soon as US-South Korea drills over

But a statement from the North Korean foreign ministry called it a "test for developing the conventional weapons".

-South Korean joint military exercises that began this week, according to a letter Kim purportedly sent him. The content of this image is as provided and can not be independently verified.

By launching a slew of weapons that directly threaten South Korea but not the USA mainland or its Pacific territories, North Korea also appears to be dialling up pressure on Seoul to make stronger efforts to coax major concessions from the United States on Pyongyang's behalf, experts say. The leaders met at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas, and Trump became the first sitting USA president to cross into North Korea.

North Korea on Friday said that its rubber-stamp parliament will hold its second meeting of the year on August 29.

People watch a TV news program reporting about North Korea's projectiles with a file image at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019.

If assessments are correct, North Korea in recent months has test-fired short-range ballistic missiles presumed to be KN-23s, a modified version of a Russian Iskander missile, a large-caliber multiple rocket launcher system and the new surface-to-surface missile.

News of this most recent round of missile testing came shortly after Trump told reporters he received a separate "really beautiful" and "very positive letter" from the North Korean despot.

The North's state-run news agency reported that leader Kim Jong Un supervised the missile launches on Saturday, the country's fifth weapons test in less than three weeks.

The Trump administration has repeatedly downplayed the significance of the tests, pointing out that the missiles are short-ranged, and, therefore, were not in violation of the agreement between Trump and Kim.

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The constitution makes clear that Kim's role as chairman of the new commission makes him the country's supreme leader.

The tests violate United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban North Korea from any ballistic missile activity.

"You could argue that the head-of-state business is meant to put Kim on the same plane as Xi, Trump or Putin".

Trump has changed the debate by adding his own criticism of what he has called "war games" as part of his demands that South Korea pay more for maintaining some 28,500 USA troops on the peninsula. He added, "I look forward to seeing [Kim] in the not too distant future!"

North Korea's government has yet to weigh in on the change.

Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said by appealing directly to Trump, Kim was "trying to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul" as Pyongyang seeks to break the alliance. It allows Kim to "represent North Korea in the worldwide community".

He also said Kim apologized for the flurry of recent short-range missile tests that has rattled USA allies in the region. But there are doubts whether he'll ever fully deal away an arsenal he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival. -South Korean military drills.

Melissa Hanham, the deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network, said the tests show that North Korea has had two short-range ballistic missiles under development this year despite diplomacy.

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