Tuesday, 02 June, 2020

North Korea says it's up to United States to choose 'Christmas gift'

Kim Jong Un cuts a ribbon to launch the town of Samjiyon a signature project completed despite biting sanctions Kim Jong Un cuts a ribbon to launch the town of Samjiyon a signature project completed despite biting sanctions
Deanna Wagner | 03 December, 2019, 21:28

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Tuesday the United States was trying to drag out denuclearization talks ahead of the USA presidential election next year and issued a veiled threat to Washington to soften its demands, its state media reported.

Ri Thae Song, the deputy foreign minister, said in a statement translated on the state news agency that the "year-end time limit" set for the U.S. was "drawing nearer" and accused the Trump administration of playing for time in discussions with Pyongyang, in the hope of avoiding a standoff before USA presidential elections in November. "That's why I call him Rocket Man", Trump said.

North Korea yesterday issued a thinly veiled warning it could resume long-distance missile tests in the next few weeks if the U.S. does not change its negotiating position on the regime's nuclear disarmament, saying "it is entirely up to the United States 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. I like him, he likes me, we have a good relationship.

Any major actions from Kim may be announced on January 1, a date when North Korean leaders typically deliver a New Year's address that lays out the policy priorities for one of the world's most reclusive states.

Ri also accused the Trump administration of attempting to drag out talks and "use it in favor of the political situation and election in the US", according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency. We'll see what happens. If I weren't President, we'd be in a war [sic]. He definitely likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?

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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.

President Trump on Tuesday touted his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and warned that former President Obama would have had the United States involved in a world war by now.

There are plans for talks before the new year's negotiations deadline, but North Korea has sent a fresh warning to President Trump today in an attempt to secure concessions.

The city, named Samjiyon, has been referred to by Mr Kim as the "ideal socialist village" during his 2019 New Year's address, while North Korean state media called it the "epitome of modern civilisation".

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.