North Korea promises 'Christmas gift' for U.S. amid rising tensions

Cheryl Sanders
December 3, 2019

North Korea's Foreign Ministry once again pressed the U.S. for a decision on their denuclearization talks on Tuesday, ahead of the year-end deadline given by the regime.

Ri Thae Song, North Korea's vice foreign minister in charge of US affairs, accused Washington of being "keen on earning time" instead of making concessions.

Discussing the North Korean leader, Trump said: "I have confidence in him".

The official also reportedly said, "it is entirely up to the USA what Christmas gift it will select to get".

North Korea has said America must choose a "Christmas gift" as it warned Donald Trump is running out of time to salvage nuclear talks. When a journalist put it to him that Kim continued to developed both programmes, the president replied "You don't know that", even though it reflects the USA intelligence consensus.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has opened a new city - dubbed a "socialist utopia" - close to the Chinese border. But I have a very good relationship. We'll see what happens.

"I hope he lives up to the agreement, but we're going to find out", the president said. He definitely likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?

Kim and Trump exchanged crude insults and war threats amid a provocative run in North Korean nuclear and missile tests in 2017, but both leaders have described their personal relationship as good since they began their high-stakes nuclear summitry in 2018.

Trump became the first sitting US president to visit North Korea when he crossed into the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea back in June for a meeting with Kim, which both leaders described in positive terms.

Ri Thae Song, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs in charge of relations with the United States, warned of an approaching end-of-year deadline, saying that President Trump's recent calls for more talks is "nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.", Reuters reported. He urged the U.S. for a decision on their denuclearization negotiations before the year-end deadline.

North Korea's number two official Choe Ryong Hae, former prime minister Pak Pong Ju and incumbent Kim Jae Ryong also attended the ceremony.

The threat appeared to be in response to a USA state department statement calling for "sustained and substantial dialogue" after North Korea's test of new multiple rocket launchers last Thursday.

The official story plays a central role in Pyongyang's teachings about the Kim family, who have led the country for three generations, and every year 100,000 or more students and workers are taken on study trips to the area.

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