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Dialogue remote as North Korea holds tight to its nukes

Lull in tests could mean sanctions biting harder

HIROSHI MINEGISHI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

SEOUL -- North Korea has refrained from missile testing of late, but the pause does not mean the regime is in any way amenable to giving up the nuclear weapons program that serves as crucial leverage in dealing with the U.S.

Pyongyang has not launched a missile since it sent an intermediate-range ballistic missile over northern Japan on Sept. 15. But the rhetoric has only intensified. The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, a mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, recently warned that war with America could break out at any moment and called U.S. President Donald Trump a maniac.

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