North Korea rocket launch ‘would be catastrophe for diplomacy’

North Korea has broken UN sanctions with a “massive” increase of oil imports and coal exports a UN report has found

Last week, global media observed activity around the site, with reports indicating that North Korean forces were restoring the launch facility, which Pyongyang had previously agreed to dismantle in talks with the U.S.

"There's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea, but I'm not going to speculate on what that particular commercial satellite picture shows", Bolton told the news show.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed previous year to shut the Sohae site at a summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang.

A top United States envoy said on Monday Washington's goal is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea by the end of Donald Trump's first term, insisting it will not settle for incremental disarmament.

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un did not appear on a list of members elected to the 14th Supreme People's Assembly announced on Korean Central Television (KCTV) broadcast Tuesday afternoon, potentially marking a first for the North Korean leadership.

In the interim, the official said, the administration's maximum pressure through sanctions policy will "be maintained and, if the president decides, the sanctions will be increased".

"In close coordination with the USA, (we) will push for inter-Korean talks to help the United States and North Korea meet again and reach an agreement on denuclearisation and corresponding measures", said the Ministry of Unification in a policy direction report for 2019 published on Tuesday.

North Korea has criticized Japan for raising the issue of abductions of Japanese nationals at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

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The latest election took place after Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump fell short of a deal at their February 27-28 summit in Hanoi over the gap between Washington's insistence on denuclearization and Pyongyang's demand for sanctions relief.

This year's turnout fell a tiny fraction short of 100% as those "abroad or working in oceans" were unable to take part, the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

"They never seem to get around to it, though", he said.

Any launch would send the stuttering talks on denuclearisation into disarray, after a high-stakes second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un collapsed last month without a deal.

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.

The report says North Korea's nuclear and missile programs "remain intact".

"Chairman Kim was sent a very clear signal in that resolution. and that, I think, is very important", Griffiths said. You were going to war, folks, whether you know it or not.

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