Trump says NK talks going ahead despite missile test
WASHINGTON (AFP) — U.S. President Donald Trump brushed off North Korea’s test of a sea-launched ballistic missile, saying Thursday that planned nuclear talks with Pyongyang will go ahead.
“They want to talk and we’ll be talking to them,” Trump told reporters at the White House in his first public reaction to North Korea’s claim to have entered a “new phase” with the test of a submarine-launched missile.
“We’ll see,” Trump added, when asked if the test had gone too far for him.
The launch was by far the most significant since Pyongyang first began a dialogue with Washington in 2018 over pressure to give up its nuclear weapons.
Analysts said the new capability, if confirmed, marks a significant step in boosting that program.
“We assess that it was a short- to medium-range ballistic missile. And I would say that we have no indication that it was launched from a submarine but rather a sea-based platform,” a U.S. military spokesman, Colonel Pat Ryder, told reporters.
Trump has said he sees no problem with a string of short range rocket tests conducted previously by North Korea, while insisting his personal ties with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un remain good.
The number of North Korean women dying during pregnancy and in childbirth dropped steadily between 2000 and 2017 but is still eight times higher than that of the South, according to a recent U.N. report.
North Korea’s maternal mortality fell to 89 per 100,000 births in 2017 from 91 in 2015, according to the report jointly issued by the United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the World Bank in September this year.
Maternal mortality refers to the number of deaths due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.
The rate in North Korea is significantly lower than the global average of 211 deaths per 100,000.