North Korea warns United States of an unwelcome ‘Christmas gift’



12/3/19
TOKYO — North Korea said Tuesday that dialogue with the United States has been nothing but a “foolish trick” and warned Washington that it could be on the receiving of an unwelcome Christmas gift. The North Korean regime has given the United States until the end of the year to drop its “hostile policy,” come up with a new approach to talks and offer concessions in return for its decision to end nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in 2018. Ri Thae Song, vice foreign minister in charge of U.S. affairs, accused Washington of trying to buy time by calling for a “sustained and substantial dialogue,” an approach he rejected. “The dialogue touted by the U.S. is, 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.,” he said, referring to his country by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “The DPRK has heard more than enough dialogue rhetoric raised by the U.S. whenever it is driven into a tight corner,” Ri said. “So, no one will lend an ear to the U.S. any longer.” Ri then again reminded the United States of the fast-approaching deadline, effectively repeating a veiled threat to resume long-range missile tests.

“The DPRK has done its utmost with maximum perseverance not to backtrack from the important steps it has taken on its own initiative,” he said in a statement carried by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency. “What is left to be done now is the U.S. option, and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get.” North Korea has a history of timing launches with an eye on international developments and even U.S. holidays. 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. North Korea has also dialed up the military threats in recent months, suggesting it may soon launch a ballistic missile in the direction of Japan.
Under impeachment, doing poorly in campaign polling, heavily criticized for his anti-NATO stance, his betrayal of the Syrian Kurds in October, and his affection for the world's worst dictators, Trump needs some foreign policy "wins" in this period leading up to the 2020 election.

Look for Trump to grant Kim major concessions to stave off NK problems until after the 2020 election.