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North Korea holds meeting to boost military

The threat of continued long-range rocket launches looms as North Korea gives the U.S. an end of the year deadline for negotiations.
Credit: AP
In this photo provided Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a ruling party meeting, North Korea. North Korea said Sunday Kim has convened a key ruling party meeting to decide on steps to bolster the country’s military capability. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

WASHINGTON — Citing heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, South Korean news agency Yonhap reports that North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un has convened a party meeting aimed at bolstering the country's military.

In text released by the North Korean government, and reported on by Yonhap, Pyongyang is threatening to "seek a 'new way' unless Washington comes up with an acceptable proposal" in regards to nuclear negotiations. The North Korean government has set an end of the year deadline.

As the Associated Press reports, there is speculation that the North Korean government could abandon diplomacy with the U.S. and launch a long-range missile. There is also speculation the country could launch a satellite-carrying rocket. North Korea is scheduled to hold a higher-level Workers' Party gathering, a Central Committee meeting, later in December to go over what it previously has laid out as crucial issues regarding the changed situation in North Korea and internationally. 

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According to North Korea, the meeting decided on “important military issues and measures for organizing or expanding and reorganizing new units ... (and) changing the affiliation of some units and changing deployment of (others).”

The White House said President Donald Trump spoke about recent strong and threatening statements made by North Korea during a phone call with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the two leaders agreeing to keep strong communication regarding the matter. 

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