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N.K. could test-fire new ICBM depending on U.S. election results: ex-unification minister

North Korea 15:46 October 12, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea could test-fire its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and other weapons unveiled at a recent military parade depending on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, a former unification minister said Monday.

"In order for weapons to be deployed, they should be test-fired," Kim Yeon-chul said on a local radio show. "They will likely look into various circumstances (before testing weapons), and the most important of them is the outcome of the U.S. presidential election."

On Saturday, the North unveiled its newest ICBM, which is even bigger than the previous version that was believed to be capable of striking any part of the continental United States. Other weapons also unveiled at the parade included a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

The former minister said it is important to stably "take care of this transition period" between the U.S. election and January, when the North is scheduled to hold a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party for the first time since 2016.

Kim also said the U.S. and the North could continue talks even if U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is elected because Biden is unlikely to return to former President Barack Obama's policy of "strategic patience."

U.S. President Donald Trump has held three meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since June 2018, but their talks have stalled since their second bilateral summit in Hanoi in February 2019 ended without a deal.

This image, captured from Korean Central Television footage on Oct. 10, 2020, shows North Korea's new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which was displayed during a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)
This photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency shows rocket launcher vehicles during a military parade held at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Oct. 10, 2020, to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers' Party. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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