Kim Jong Un celebrates completion of 'modern mountainous city'

Clay Curtis
December 3, 2019

North Korea is warning the United States it will have to choose "what Christmas gift" it will get ahead of a year-end nuclear talks deadline.

Top North Korean diplomat Ri Thae Song said in a statement Tuesday that the onus was on the USA side to determine how the regime would behave through the holiday season.

"I have confidence in him".

In a separate report Tuesday, KCNA quoted vice foreign minister Ri Thae Song saying: "What gift the United States receives for Christmas depends entirely on the US' decision".

Ri reiterated earlier North Korean statements that the country has no intentions to continue the nuclear diplomacy unless it gets something substantial in return. 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 U.S. intelligence consensus.

In this morning's press conference Mr Trump said North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the USA president with something he can boast of, but get compensation for the successes that President Trump is proud of as his administrative achievements".

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"The dialogue touted by the US is, in essence, 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 US", Ri Thae Song, a vice foreign minister involved in US affairs, said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. We'll see what happens.

"And at least speaking for myself I have a very good personal relationship and he has with me".

Negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim and President Trump broke down after the US rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Trump became the first sitting USA 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. For example, Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun told lawmakers last month that "we do not have a year-end deadline".

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

Kim has warned that if the USA does not come up with a more attractive offer to North Korea by the end of the year, his country will adopt a policy he's calling the "new way".

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