North Korea to expel U.S. citizen who 'illegally entered' country

Sergio Cunningham
November 19, 2018

North Korea's surprise announcement Friday that dictator Kim Jong Un has supervised the test of an unspecified "high-tech tactical weapon" means that a potential military confrontation between the US and the North over nuclear weapons and missiles is once again a real and frightening possibility.

While U.S. -North Korea denuclearization talks are in a stalemate, Moon hopes for the cooperation of China, a longstanding ally of North Korea.

The man, identified as Lawrence Bruce Byron, had been in custody after crossing into North Korea from China on October 16, it said.

Officials said the delegation's visit boosted chances of governor Lee visiting North Korea.

Pyongyang's suspension of testing for nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles has been key to this year's rapid diplomatic developments and North Korean-US negotiations, and has been repeatedly praised by President Donald Trump.

The announcement is a clear signal from Kim that he could begin testing much more powerful weapons - think long-range missiles that could hit the USA - whenever he wishes.

State media release photo of Kim Jong Un inspecting the alleged test site; Greg Palkot details the report.

While he gets nearly no credit, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has delivered what can only be described as a miracle by negotiating a deconfliction agreement that has set up a no-fly zone along the Demilitarized Zone dividing North and South Korea.

"The United States is grateful for the sustained support of Sweden, our protecting power in North Korea, for its advocacy on behalf of American citizens", Pompeo said.

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The Korean Central News Agency said Kim's father, who died in 2011, had begun the development of the weapon system.

It is rare for North Korea to release an American detainee so swiftly.

The Trump administration has cited the North's decision to halt long-range missile and nuclear tests as evidence of progress since the two sides agreed to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" in their first-ever summit in June.

The North Korean media said Washington made an attempt to pressure Pyongyang by staging joint drills with Tokyo - a likely reference to this month's Keen Sword 2019 drills.

Typically, North Korea will hold Americans for much longer than a month.

"The "United Nations Command" now becomes rather an obstacle to the improvement of inter-Korean relations for the alleviation of the situation on the Korean peninsula as well as reconciliation and cooperation between the North and the South", DPRK Today said. "South Korea alliance and, eventually, removing USA forces" from the peninsula.

The North said the test took place at the Academy of National Defence Science and that Kim couldn't suppress his "passionate joy" at its success.

Last year's string of increasingly powerful weapons tests, many experts believe, put the North on the brink of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can target anywhere in the mainland United States.

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