North Korea's Kim celebrates completion of 'modern mountainous city'

Samjiyon site with Mount Paektu a symbol of the North Korean nation in the background

North Korea has warned the United States of a year-end deadline to change its "hostile policy" towards North Korea, saying that the US will be choosing what "Christmas gift" it will be getting.

"In a statement issued by Ri Thae-song, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs in charge of U.S. affairs, Pyongyang criticized the USA for using their denuclearization negotiations to influence domestic politics".

Discussing the North Korean leader, Trump said: "I have confidence in him".

North Korea marked the start of the advent season on Tuesday with the promise of a "Christmas gift" for the United States if it made no progress on reviving stalled nuclear talks in December.

The Trump administration has called for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons before it can receive rewards, a move Pyongyang sees as political suicide. I like him, he likes me, we have a good relationship.

In comments reported by state media today, Ri reiterated earlier North Korean statements that the country has no intention to continue the nuclear diplomacy unless it gets something substantial in return. Kim "likes sending rockets up, doesn't he?". The talks broke down when the US refused to lift sanctions in return for North Korea's pause in nuclear and long-range missile testing, as well as the dismantling of several sites.

North Korea's state media has reported that the country's leader Kim Jong Un visited a northern mountainous area to celebrate the completion of a newly-built township. "As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the USA president with something he can boast of, but get compensation for the successes that President Trump is proud of as his administrative achievements".

Ri Thae Song, the North Korean official in charge of relations with the United States, said in a statement that the USA has not taken any action while trying to use diplomatic talks for political gain ahead of next year's election. However, there has been scant progress on denuclearization talks, which must take place by year-end according to a deadline imposed by Kim.

The statement from Ri said North Korea "has heard more than enough dialogue rhetoric raised by the US whenever it is driven into a tight corner".

The threat appeared to be in response to a USA state department statement calling for "sustained and substantial dialogue" after North Korea's test of new multiple rocket launchers last Thursday.

Kim has placed a end-of-the-year deadline on the USA to rescue a nuclear deal after negotiations between the two countries broke down over sanctions relief.

While President Trump remains confident in his negotiations with the regime in North Korea, its warnings are growing along with frequent nuclear tests - indicating that tensions are far from resolved.



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