US warns N.Korea of consequences for 'Christmas gift'

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump cross south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea after Trump briefly stepped over to the northern side

The breakdown of negotiations that began in June 2018, with a summit in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, could lead to a rapid escalation of hostilities.

The U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said the United States was ready "to simultaneously take concrete steps" toward a deal on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs but she added that the Security Council must be prepared to respond to any provocations.

She said: "If events prove otherwise, we, this Security Council, must all be prepared to act accordingly".

The United States on Wednesday warned North Korea of consequences if it makes good on threats of a spectacular weapons test in the New Year, while offering flexibility if it stays in talks.

"Any discussion of a new roadmap or Security Council resolution must bear in mind the reality that over the past year and a half, [North Korea] has continued to advance its prohibited programs, test its prohibited programs, and repeatedly refuse to engage in sustained diplomatic engagement", Craft said.

"Missile and nuclear testing will not bring the DPRK greater security", Craft said, referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The UN Assistant Secretary-General for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Mohamed Khaled Khiari, also expressed concern over North Korea's provocative actions.calling them "deeply troubling".

Negotiations faltered after the US rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of the North's nuclear capabilities at the second summit between President Trump and Kim last February.

North Korea has carried out 13 ballistic missile launches since May to pressure Washington, and has promised an ominous "Christmas gift" if the U.S. does not come up with concessions by the end of the year.

That is simply a lie.

On Sunday, North Korea's Academy of National Defense said a "very important test" was conducted at a long-range rocket facility on the country's western coast, touching off speculation that the North could have tested a new rocket engine for either a satellite-launch vehicle or an intercontinental ballistic missile. Analysts argue the potential threat posed by North Korea is so grave Mr Trump has no choice but to keep trying.

"North Korea has always hated the annual Security Council meetings focused on its widespread use of arbitrary detention, starvation, torture and other crimes against the North Korean people", he said. On Saturday, the North Korean ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, issued a statement suggesting that denuclearisation was off the table and no longer negotiable.

Stephen Biegun, the Trump administration's special representative for North Korea, briefed the 15 council members over a private lunch but left Kraft to address the open council meeting. As a result, the call for a meeting by European powers fell short of the minimum number of votes needed and so it did not take place. It also once again demonstrates that the USA, among other imperialist powers, cynically exploits "human rights issues"-turning them on or off to suit its national interests".

Just how close the world was to a catastrophic war is underlined by a recently published book Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos, in which security analyst Peter Bergen reveals that Trump had demanded that the families of U.S. service members in South Korea be evacuated.

"Germany's U.N. Ambassador Christoph Heusgen raised the impact of North Korea's "gross" human rights violations on peace and security in his speech to the council.

Negotiations faltered after the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of the North's nuclear capabilities at Kim's second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump last February. -North Korea nuclear diplomacy.



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