Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Missile tests and meetings: N.Korea signals confidence in face of coronavirus

Missile tests and meetings: N.Korea signals confidence in face of coronavirus

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the world would see a "new strategic weapon" in the near future, in a message on January 1.

"Such military action by North Korea is highly inappropriate at a time when Covid-19 is causing difficulties worldwide", the JCS said, calling for an immediate stop.

President Trump reached out to North Korea, offering help to its leader to stem the spiraling coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the country's official state media, KCNA.

Although Kim has vowed to build up his nuclear arsenal and achieve a "frontal breakthrough" against sanctions while urging his nation to stay resilient in a struggle for economic "self-reliance", some experts say North Korea's self-imposed lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis could potentially hamper his ability to mobilize people for labor. The coronavirus could be especially deadly in North Korea, which lacks adequate medical supplies and infrastructure. Meanwhile, a report from a ruling party newspaper in North Korea said that a local party official had been punished for undermining nationwide coronavirus prevention measures by organising drinking parties.

Trump and Kim have met three times, but talks broke down a year ago after the USA refused to relax sanctions and provide other concessions.

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By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. In his letter, it is reported, the U.S. leader was all smiles and praised North Korea for its handling of the pandemic. Trump said it was a very serious time and added that the U.S. had also offered help to Iran which is also facing a tough time, Efe news reported.

"We view such a personal letter of President Trump as a good example showing the special and firm personal relations with Chairman Kim Jong Un", she said, adding her brother also has mentioned his "special personal relations" with Trump.

But their diplomacy has largely come to a standstill since the breakdown of their second summit in Vietnam in February 2019, when Trump rejected Kim's demands for broad sanctions relief in return for a partial disarmament step.

Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency also said on Saturday that the North has chose to hold a session of its rubber-stamp parliament on April 10. At least 323 people have died from the virus in the United States.

Tokyo Olympics 2020 postponement latest
Irish Olympic chief executive Sherrard said he recognised that Japan had been put in a hard position. Pound also told USA Today the ramifications of postponing the Games would be "immense".

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