North Korea warns US of an unwelcome ‘Christmas gift’

North Korea is asking the US to soften its stance in denuclearisation talks that have made little progress despite three meetings between the two countries' leaders

North Korea said on Tuesday the United States was trying to drag out denuclearization talks ahead of the US presidential election next year and issued a veiled threat to Washington to soften its demands, state media reported.

Nuclear negotiations with the United States have been deadlocked since the Hanoi summit broke up in February, and Pyongyang has issued a series of increasingly assertive comments in recent weeks as its time limit approaches.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has opened a flagship construction project close to Mount Paektu, a symbol of the Korean nation and officially the birthplace of his father and predecessor, state media reported Tuesday. He participated in a 52-minute question and answer session with a room of reporters gathered at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in London. "And, hopefully, we don't have to use it, but if we do, we'll use it".

Trump previously threatened to "totally destroy" the communist regime in 2017 when tensions ran high over the North's testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Ri Thae Song, DPRK's vice foreign minister in charge of USA affairs, accused Washington of being "keen on earning time" instead of making concessions.

Lifting some of US sanctions imposed on the DPRK was a key demand at the Hanoi summit. He was apparently alluding to the North's suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests since 2017.

The official also reportedly said, "it is entirely up to the US what Christmas gift it will select to get".

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The North's state-operated KCNA reported Tuesday that Kim attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the township of Samjiyon County, which it touted as an example of a mountainous modern city where the ruling party's plan for local construction has been realized.

Since the collapse of the Hanoi talks, Kim and his regime have issued repeated threats that North Korea could resume nuclear or ICBM testing if the USA did not make more concessions or demand less of Pyongyang. Kim "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?".

Last week, North Korea chose Thanksgiving Day to launch two projectiles from what it called a "super large multiple-rocket launcher", marking the 14th test of short-range rockets or missiles it has undertaken this year.

"Well, we'll see", he said. He expressed "confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me". That's why I call him Rocket Man'. "We'll see. We'll see what happens".

The two leaders first met in June 2018 in Singapore.

"We have peace. And at least speaking for myself I have a very good personal relationship and he has with me". "If you would've listened to President Obama, we'd be in World War 3 right now".

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