Two Russian lawmakers said last week that Kim is now planning to test a missile capable of reaching the U.S. West Coast, a range of approximately 9,000 miles. Trump has been called an "old psychopath" and "war thirsty" by North Korean state media, and the U.S. has been threatened to be reduced to "ashes and darkness", among other saber-rattling statements.
Kim's sister - Kim Yo-jong - believed to be in her late 20s, was one of the winners in personnel changes that were rubber-stamped by a weekend meeting of the ruling Workers' Party's 7th Central Committee.
The former head of intelligence also suggested North Korea's provocations are a form of propaganda.
President Donald Trump attends the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement exercise in New London, Conn., on May 17.
During Saturday's party meeting, Kim acknowledged the country faced with "ordeals" under a "stern" situation, but claimed that its economy had grown this year despite ever-tighter sanctions. I'm sure your generals told you there are zero good military options against N Korea.
South Korea-based political analyst Robert Kelly said there is concern of a "spiral, a miscalculation", owing to a new dynamic of escalating rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang.
"If the president would get off Twitter, that would help a great deal", Kelly said.
However, Alfano also told Italian daily La Repubblica that Italy would not sever its diplomatic relations with North Korea because he said it was useful to maintain a channel of communication.
Other close aides and advisers of Kim Jong-un were promoted, including member of the National Defense Commission Ri Pyong-chol, and Jang Chang-ha, the party's Machine Building Industry Department deputy director.
He later added: "In 1st Korean War, China & Russia helped North Korea". "Whatever you want to say about the North Koreans, they're consistent".
The Kaesong complex, which opened in late 2004 over the western inter-Korean border, was the last significant vestige of South-North business cooperation before Seoul announced on February 10, 2016, that it would suspend operations because profits helped finance North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
The 45th USA president has repeatedly made clear his distaste for dialogue with North Korea.