President Donald Trump says Kim Jong Un 'has far too much to lose' following rocket launch site test

8 December 2019, 21:50

President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in June / an earlier missile test
President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in June / an earlier missile test. Picture: PA

By Megan White

President Donald Trump has said Kim Jong Un “is too smart and has far too much to lose” after North Korea allegedly carried out a "very important test" at its rocket launch site.

The North said it was a "successful test of great significance" at its long-range launch site, which it reportedly rebuilt after having partially dismantled it when it entered denuclearisation talks with the US last year.

The state did not specify what had been tested on Sunday, but it is not thought to have launched any missiles.

Speaking after the tests, Mr Trump said the North Korean leader had signed a “strong denuclearisation agreement” with him which he “does not want to void.”

The pair met at a summit in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea on June 30
The pair met at a summit in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea on June 30. Picture: PA

The President tweeted: “Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way.

“He signed a strong Denuclearisation Agreement with me in Singapore.

“He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the US Presidential Election in November.

“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised.

“NATO, China, Russia, Japan, and the entire world is unified on this issue!”

The announcement comes amid dimming prospects for a resumption of negotiations, with the North warning it would seek "a new way" if it failed to gain major US concessions by year's end.

North Korea has said its resumption of nuclear and long-range missile tests depends on the United States.

Saturday's test at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground would have "an important effect on changing the strategic position of (North Korea) once again in the near future," an unidentified spokesman from the North's Academy of National Defence Science said in a statement, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea held missile tests in August
North Korea held missile tests in August. Picture: PA

The North said last week that the Central Committee would hold a meeting in late December to discuss unspecified "crucial issues" in line with "the changed situation at home and abroad".

Analyst Kim Dong-yub, at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said North Korea likely tested for the first time a solid-fuel engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The use of solid fuel increases a weapon's mobility.

At the United Nations, a statement released by North Korea's UN ambassador, Kim Song, on Saturday said denuclearisation had "already gone out of the negotiation table".

It said North Korea did not need to have lengthy talks with the US as the end-of-year deadline set by Kim for substantial US concessions in nuclear diplomacy looms.

The statement accused the Trump administration of persistently pursuing a "hostile policy" toward the country "in its attempt to stifle it". The ambassador also said Washington claims it is engaged in a "sustained and substantial dialogue" with Pyongyang solely for "its domestic political agenda."