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Summary of external news of North Korea this week

All Headlines 16:00 August 16, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of external news of North Korea this week.

U.S. concerned by N.K. missile development: senior official

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United States is concerned by North Korea's missile development and will continue to call out the regime for its missile tests, a senior U.S. official said Tuesday.

Andrea Thompson, under secretary of state for arms control and international security, was commenting in light of North Korea's five rounds of short-range ballistic missile tests since July 25.

Experts say the regime has been advancing its weapons capabilities despite a commitment by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to work toward denuclearization.

Ship suspected of carrying coal spotted at N. Korean port: report

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- A cargo ship suspected of carrying coal has been spotted at a North Korean port, a U.S. broadcaster said Wednesday, raising the possibility of a violation of global sanctions on Pyongyang.

The 110-meter-long ship was spotted docked at the North's western port of Nampo along with plenty of black materials nearby in a satellite photo taken Tuesday by the U.S. Earth imaging company Planet Labs, according to Voice of America (VOA).

The ship was first seen at the port in a satellite photo taken Saturday when it was docked 30 meters behind what was spotted in the Tuesday photo. The movement might be aimed at loading what appears to be coal, the VOA said.

Air Koryo resumes flights between Pyongyang, Jinan amid improved ties with China

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's national carrier has resumed flights between Pyongyang and the northeastern Chinese city of Jinan for the first time in three years, according to a flight tracking website and a news report Wednesday.

Air Koryo's JS561 flight departed from Pyongyang at 4:53 p.m. on Tuesday and the same aircraft, under the flight number of JS562, left Jinan at 7:07 p.m. the same day, according to Flightradar24.

It is the first time in three years for Air Koryo to operate flights between the two cities, according to Voice of America. Earlier, the air carrier operated the Pyongyang-Jinan route for three months in 2016, using the same flight numbers.

Kim, Putin exchange greetings on Korea's Liberation Day

SEOUL, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin exchanged greetings Thursday to mark the 74th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan, Pyongyang's state media reported.

In their messages, they expressed their desire to further deepen bilateral ties based on the agreement for cooperation reached during their first summit in the Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok in April, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"(Kim's message) said that the two peoples have inherited from one century into the next the feelings of comrades-in-arms which was formed in the joint struggle of the grim great anti-Japanese war," the agency said in an English-language article.

Trump: N.K. leader called within 10 minutes after DMZ tweet

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called him "within 10 minutes" after he tweeted an invitation to meet at the inter-Korean border in June.

Trump was talking about his use of Twitter as a messaging platform when he cited the tweet he sent to Kim on June 29 right before he traveled to South Korea.

"When I was flying to South Korea, I had the idea: You know what? I'm going to South Korea, right next to North Korea, right where the border, right near there," he said in an interview with New Hampshire radio station WGIR.

U.S. says it is aware of report of N.K. missile launch

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- The United States is aware of reports of North Korea's latest missile launch and is closely monitoring the situation with its allies, South Korea and Japan, a senior U.S. government official said Thursday.

Hours earlier, North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles off its east coast, according to the South Korean military, its sixth such launch since July 25.

"We are aware of reports of a missile launch from North Korea, and we continue to monitor the situation," the official told Yonhap News Agency. "We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies."

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