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North Korea Promises 'Christmas Gift' for US

What it is depends on US actions: official
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2019 9:07 AM CST
North Korea Promises 'Christmas Gift' for US
Kim Jong Un, center, reacts to what North Korea's government claims was a test firing of its "super-large" multiple rocket launcher.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

(Newser) – North Korea says the US could be in for an unpleasant Christmas gift unless denuclearization talks move forward. The veiled threat came Tuesday as Pyongyang denounced little progress in discussions with Washington, reports CNBC. Calls for a "sustained and substantial dialogue" are "nothing but a foolish trick" serving the US, which is in "a tight corner" owing to its current "political situation" and upcoming election, KCNA quotes Ri Thae Song, vice foreign minister in charge of US affairs, as saying. North Korea "has heard more than enough dialogue" and "no one will lend an ear to the US any longer." Pointing to a year-end deadline for proposals, Ri adds "it is entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get."

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The Washington Post sees "a veiled threat to resume long-range missile tests"—something the North has previously done on a US holiday. Kim Jung Un described the regime's first test of an ICBM on Independence Day 2017 as a "gift package" for the US. This year, the North is believed to have fired two short-range projectiles from a "super-large" multiple rocket launcher on Thanksgiving. "He definitely likes sending up rockets … That's why I call him Rocket Man," Trump said, reviving his nickname for Kim, while meeting with NATO leaders in London on Tuesday, per the Hill. "I have confidence in him," he added before noting denuclearization may or "may not" work out. "In the meantime, we still have peace," Trump said. And "if I weren't president, you'd be in a war right now in Asia." (More on the NATO meeting.)

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