N. Korea's 'Festive Surprise' for Trump Fails to Materialise

Published December 26th, 2019 - 12:18 GMT
Kim Jong Un (Twitter)
Kim Jong Un (Twitter)
Highlights
When asked about the risk of a missile test while on holiday in Florida, Trump said: 'Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test.

North Korea's 'festive surprise' for Donald Trump has failed to make an appearance after four US spy planes swarmed over the peninsula on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day amid fears the rogue state could conduct a missile test.

The President had said the dictatorship could send him a 'nice present' such as a vase, rather than a military one. 

Pyongyang has threatened to take 'unspecified action' if sanctions are not lifted by 2020, reports AP, and said its 'gift' will depend on Washington's actions.

Four aircraft - including a Rivet Joint, Global Hawk and Cobra Ball, flew over North Korea at 31,000 and 53,000 feet, according to tracker Aircraft Spots.

One of the planes also conducted missions over the East Sea, next to Korea's shoreline, and returned to its base in the Sea of Japan this morning.

It is unusual for this number of aircraft to conduct a mission around the peninsula at the same time, reports YNA, perhaps illustrating how seriously Washington is taking the country's comments.

When asked about the risk of a missile test while on holiday in Florida, Trump said: 'Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test.

'I may get a nice present from him. You don’t know. You never know.'

Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea have been stalled since a February summit between Trump and Kim fell apart.

A new satellite image of a factory where North Korea makes military equipment used to launch long-range missiles shows the construction of a new structure.

In New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked whether Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had a message for Kim on Christmas Eve regarding their alleged 'Christmas gift'. 

'Our message is to the leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to work for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and to resume working‑level talks with the United States,' he said.

'Diplomatic engagement is the only pathway to sustainable peace and complete denuclearisation and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.' 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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