"Maybe it's a nice present," he quipped. "Maybe it's a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test."
North Korea warned Washington earlier this month of a possible "Christmas gift” after its leader Kim Jong Un gave the United States until the end of the year to propose new concessions in talks over his country’s nuclear arsenal and reducing tensions between the two long-time adversaries.
In issuing the warning, North Korea accused Washington of trying to drag out denuclearization talks ahead of Trump's re-election bid next year and said it was "entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get."
US military commanders have said that the North Korean response could involve the testing of a long-range missile, something North Korea has suspended, along with nuclear bomb tests, since 2017.
Trump has repeatedly held up the suspension of such tests as evidence that his policy of engaging with North Korea, which has involved unprecedented summits with Kim, was working.
North Korea's last test of an intercontinental ballistic missile took place in November 2017. That involved a Hwasong-15 ICBM, the largest missile it has ever tested, and which it said was capable of reaching all of the United States.
Trump and Kim have met three times since 2018, but there has been no substantive progress in dialogue. North Korea has demanded an end to international sanctions while the United States says Pyongyang must first commit to giving up its nuclear weapons.
Recent days have seen a flurry of international diplomacy aimed at preventing a complete breakdown of dialogue and avoiding a return to the heated confrontation seen two years ago that raised fears of war.
China, North Korea's most important economic and diplomatic backer, together with Russia, proposed last week that the UN Security Council lift some sanctions to break the current deadlock.
A US State Department official responded by saying it was not the time to consider lifting UN sanctions when North Korea was "threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearization, and continuing to maintain and advance its prohibited weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs."
North Korea has conducted repeated tests of short-range missiles this year and this month carried out what appeared to be engine tests at a rocket-testing facility US officials have said Kim promised Trump he would close.
Pyongyang said the tests were aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the US."
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Nine great apes in San Diego become first non-human primates vaccinated for Covid-19
US Capitol ups security after attack warning
Texas power grid operator fires chief executive
SpaceX rocket explodes on ground after successful flight
US House passes police reforms, voting rights bill
SpaceX rocket explodes on ground after seemingly successful flight
Pakistan PM to seek trust vote after Senate setback
US police warn of new militant plot to ‘breach’ Capitol
At least 13 dead after SUV, truck collide in California