'Very important': N Korea carries out test at rocket launch site

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ on the border of North and South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ on the border of North and South Korea

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

The latest test comes as Pyongyang is ramping up pressure ahead of its end-of-year deadline for the U.S. to propose a new offer to kickstart stalled nuclear talks.

Before the Singapore talks, North Korea had long said it would denuclearise only if the USA withdrew its 28,500 troops from South Korea, ended military drills with the South and took other steps to guarantee the North's security.

Kim's comments also referred to a joint statement released Wednesday in which six European Union nations condemned North Korea's short-range missile tests on November 28.

The report did not specify what was tested, but the site has previously been used to launch long-range rockets.

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 insisting on Pyongyang's unilateral denuclearisation and demanded relief from punishing sanctions.

"We do not need to have lengthy talks with the USA now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table", Kim said in the statement made available to Reuters.

Trump's statement comes after North Korea signaled it would no longer consider denuclearization and after its officials this week lobbed insults at the US president.

North Korean officials have previously said whether North Korea lifts its moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests depends on what actions the United States takes.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump and Kim have had two summits, but have been unable to strike a comprehensive agreement in which North Korea agrees to give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, (left), and President Trump on June 12, 2018 in Singapore.

But many foreign experts doubt whether North Korea would completely abandon a nuclear program that it has built after decades of struggle and sees as essential to its survival.

Even so, Jenny Town of 38 North, a Washington-based North Korea project, said it was unclear how literally Kim Song's words should be taken. "It is possible this is what Kim Song means, since we haven't heard anything quite so stark from those involved in the negotiations".

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