North Korea calls party meeting, raising fear of new weapons tests

North Korea calls party meeting, raising fear of new weapons tests

North Korea, perhaps, reconsidered its promise to give the United States a "Christmas gift", but Washington would carefully monitor the situation in the Korean peninsula in any case, US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said on Sunday.

Earlier this month, North Korea said it would hold a plenary session of its ruling party sometime this month to discuss and decide on crucial issues due to the changed situation at home and overseas, without elaborating.

His comments come amid heightened tension between the US and North Korea as a year-end deadline for Washington to present additional concessions to Pyongyang in key denuclearization negotiations looms.

North Korea had warned it could send a "Christmas gift" to the USA to force concessions over stalled nuclear talks.

Kim, who is chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), presided over the first day of the party meeting to "discuss important matters arising.in the building of the state and national defence", the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

Taps, a bugle call played at the end of the day on United States bases, should have been played over the announcement system instead, he said.

A military spokesman blamed "human error" at Camp Casey, the closest U.S. base to the border with the North.

USA military commanders remain on high alert on the Korean peninsula, widely expecting a ballistic missile or nuclear weapons test, even though Christmas has come and gone.

At a ruling party meeting in April 2018, North Korea formally chose to "discontinue nuclear test and intercontinental ballistic rocket" test-firings.

A military spokesperson said the emergency siren was a "human error" at Camp Casey, the military base located just south of the Demilitarized Zone about 40 miles north Seoul, South Korea.

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un has convened a key meeting of high ruling occasion officers, recount media acknowledged Sunday, sooner than a 300 and sixty five days-close time restrict for Washington to shift its stance on stalled nuclear talks.

North Korea has fired several short-range missiles in recent months without any U.S. military response.

Separately, early on Friday Japan's public broadcaster NHK mistakenly reported that North Korea had fired a missile that landed in the sea off the Japanese coast.

Earlier this month, North Korean media published pictures of Mr Kim riding a white horse on a sacred mountain, imagery that experts said was heavy with sym-bolism and may indicate a policy announcement soon.

Asked whether the U.S. and North Korea had communicated since October talks broke down with the USA special envoy Stephen Biegun, O'Brien said only that "there are channels of communication".

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