US President Donald Trump has brushed off North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s warning of a “Christmas gift”, saying that Washington would “deal with it very successfully” and that perhaps it would be a “nice present”.
“We’ll find out what the surprise is and we’ll deal with it very successfully,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday. “We’ll see what happens.”
“Maybe it’s a nice present,” he quipped. “Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase.”
North Korea has set a year-end deadline for the United States to change what it says is a policy of hostility amid a stalemate in efforts to make progress on the pledge to end North Korea‘s nuclear programme and establish lasting peace. Pyongyang warned the US last week over a “Christmas gift” as the deadline looms.
Kim and Trump have met three times since June 2018 but there has been no substantive progress in dialogue and the government in Pyongyang has demanded that international sanctions be lifted first.
Last week, the North Korean state media said the US would “pay dearly” for taking issue with Pyongyang’s human rights record and that Washington’s “malicious words” would only aggravate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The US envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visited South Korea and China last week, making a public and direct call to North Korea to return to the negotiating table.
The reclusive state has conducted several ballistic missile and nuclear tests in the past, confronting the US policies towards the East Asian country.