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North Korea: Denuclearization off the negotiating table 

North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said on Saturday that denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the United States and lengthy talks with Washington are not needed.

Ambassador Kim Song’s comment appeared to go further than North Korea’s earlier warning that discussions related to its nuclear weapons program, the central focus of U.S. engagement with North Korea in the past two years, might have to be taken off the table given Washington’s refusal to offer concessions. 

Kim said in a statement that the “sustained and substantial dialogue” sought by the United States was a “time-saving trick” to suit its domestic political agenda, a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. 

Tensions have risen ahead of a year-end deadline set by North Korea, which has called on the United States to change its policy of demanding Pyongyang’s unilateral denuclearization and demanded relief from punishing sanctions. 

Meanwhile,North Korea has conducted a test at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reported today. The result of the test, will have an important effect on changing the strategic status of North Korea, a government spokesperson said. The media report did not specify what was tested, but the site has previously been used to launch rockets into space as well as test missile engines.

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