" North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is pictured during a visit to the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science in this undated photo released by North Korea’s KCNA news agency in Pyongyang yesterday. — Reuters Norht Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered more solid-fuel rocket engines Joe Haden Womens Jersey , state media reported yesterday, as he pursues nuclear and missile programs. The move comes amid a standoff with Washington, but there are signs of tension easing.
The report carried by the KCNA news agency lacked the traditionally robust threats against the United States after weeks of unbridled acrimony, and US President Donald Trump expressed optimism about a possible improvement in relations.
“I respect the fact that he is starting to respect us,” Trump said of Kim at a raucous campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
“And maybe — probably not, but maybe — something positive can come about,” he said.
The KCNA report, about a visit by Kim to a chemical institute, came not long after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to make a peace overture, welcoming what he called recent restraint shown by North Korea.
Kim was briefed about the process of manufacturing intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) warhead tips and solid-fuel rocket engines during his tour of the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science, KCNA said.
“He instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process and the production capacity of rocket warhead tips and engine jets by carboncarbon compound material,” KCNA said.
North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of last year, significantly raising tension on the heavily militarized Korean Peninsula and in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. Two ICBM tests in July resulted in a new round of tougher global sanctions.
The last missile test on July 28 put the US mainland in range, prompting exchanges that raised fears of a new conflict.
Tillerson, however, noted what he called the restraint North Korea had shown and said on Tuesday that he hoped a path could be opening for dialogue.
The KCNA report said Kim had given “special thanks and special bonus” to officials of the institute, calling them heroes. A photograph showed Kim in a gray pinstriped suit, smiling before a large flow chart describing some kind of manufacturing process.
There was none of the fiery rhetoric of recent weeks, when Kim had threatened to fire missiles into the sea near the US Pacific territory of Guam after Trump warned North Korea it would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the US.
But there were some signs of tension after the US imposed new North Korea-related sanctions, targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals.
The US Treasury designated six Chinese-owned entities, one Russian, one North Korean and two based in Singapore. They included a Namibia-based subsidiary of a Chinese company and a North Korean entity operating in Namibia.
China said the US should “immediately correct its mistake” of imposing unilateral sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said all sides, especially the US and North Korea, needed to exercise restraint.
“We hope all sides can be brave enough to shoulder their responsibilities, show goodwill to each other and take correct actions to help further ease tensions,” she told a press briefing.
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