US officials have played down the test of what North Korea has described as a "tactical" weapon, implying a short-range system rather than the ballistic missiles seen as a threat to the United States. "But no missile was detected", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The US president went on to praise North Korean potential under Kim's leadership, saying: "North Korea has tremendous potential for extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim".
Pentagon officials said they were aware of the test report but declined to comment further.
The Blue House believes that South Korea is "the architect" of the diplomatic process, a source said, and it is trying to reignite the momentum of dialogue toward another North Korea-South Korea summit which would could then lead to a third US-North Korea summit.
I am afraid that if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled.
He said that while Kwon would have been acting on the highest authority, he was only a mid-level official, so his statements should be "taken with a pinch of salt".
"The description makes whatever was tested sound like a missile, but that could be everything from a small anti-tank guided missile to a surface-to-air missile to a rocket artillery system", said North Korea analyst Ankit Panda.
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Abe may be also demonstrating his political power over Naruhito by sending the message that he can decide whom the emperor meets. Abe has made several trips to the United States, and will visit the White House again April 26-27.
Kim indicated, however, that he would in the meantime maintain his self-imposed moratorium on nuclear tests and long-range missile launches and he appears to be standing by that vow.
"Religious exchange between North and South have historically made progress", Kim said at the meeting.
After US President Donald Trump hinted that he was interested in a third summit with DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, Bolton - a Trump appointee - declared that prior to any meeting between the two heads of state there must first be "a real indication from North Korea that they've made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons", cited by Bloomberg. He gave a year-end deadline for a change in attitude.
This isn't the first time North Korea has expressed disquiet about a United States negotiator. He did not elaborate. In November, Kim oversaw the test of what KCNA also referred to as a newly developed "high-tech tactical weapon".
Wednesday's test was "conducted in various modes of firing at different targets" the Korean Central News Agency reported, adding that Kim "guided the test-fire".
Since then, North Korea has said it is mulling options for its diplomacy with the United States, and Kim said last week he was open to talks with Trump only if Washington came with the "proper attitude".
Also Wednesday, Kim carried out a public inspection of a military unit for the first time in several months, reviewing a flight exercise of the Korean People's Army.