S. Korea urges Pyongyang not to conduct threatened test of ‘new strategic weapon’

SEOUL-- South Korea urged North Korea not to carry out its threatened test of a "new strategic weapon" Wednesday, saying such an act would not help denuclearization negotiations and efforts to build peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul issued the appeal hours after North Korean media reported that leader Kim Jong-un sees no reason to continue his self-declared moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and warned that the world will soon see a "new strategic weapon."

"The government makes it clear that if the North carries that out, it would not help denuclearization negotiations and efforts to build peace on the Korean Peninsula," the unification ministry said.

The ministry said that the government pays attention to North Korea not declaring an end to talks with the United States and expressed hope for "substantial progress" by holding talks as soon as possible.

Denuclearization talks have been stalled since the second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump ended without an agreement due to wide differences over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization measures and Washington's sanctions relief.

The two sides met again in October in Stockholm but failed to narrow their differences.

The ministry said that the government will continue to make efforts to improve inter-Korean relations as well, adding that it will faithfully implement military agreements the two Koreas reached in 2018 to ease cross-border tensions.

Inter-Korean relations remain stalled as North Korea has been unresponsive to South Korea's offers for cooperation and exchanges amid lack of progress in denuclearization talks.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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