North Korea says US needs to decide 'Xmas gift'


In the latest statement from Pyongyang, one of several warnings issued via state media, Ri Thae Song, vice minister of foreign affairs, in charge of U.S. relations, accused Washington of trying to drag out denuclearisation talks ahead of the USA presidential election next year.

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.

The statement published in North Korean state media on Tuesday said it was up to Washington "what Christmas gift it will select to get".

'I have confidence in him.

Negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim Jong-un and Trump in Vietnam which broke down after the US rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. We'll see what happens. Kim "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?". Kim's regime has called for a step-by-step approach where any moves it makes toward disarmament are simultaneously met with a reward.Kim and Trump have met three times since June 2018 and have little to show for their unprecedented diplomacy.

"And at least speaking for myself I have a very good personal relationship and he has with me". He urged the USA for a decision on their denuclearization negotiations before the year-end deadline.

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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.

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".

In a November 18 statement, Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan suggested North Korea had no interest in meeting with Trump at another summit unless the US offered substantial concessions before the deadline.

The country is now escalating that rhetoric as the deadline looms, with North Korea's Ri Thae Song saying this week, "The dialogue touted by the, 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 U.S.", The Associated Press reports.

In October the two leaders met met in Stockholm, but the talks in Sweden broke off with the North's envoy saying the U.S. failed to show flexibility.