Published: Tue, December 03, 2019

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

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

However, on July 4, 2017, Kim successfully carried out North Korea's first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refrained from tests of nuclear bombs and missiles capable of carrying them to the US for more than two years as he pursued unprecedented talks with Trump. Kim's regime has called for a step-by-step approach where any moves it makes toward disarmament are simultaneously met with a reward.Kim and Trump have met three times since June 2018 and have little to show for their unprecedented diplomacy.

In a separate report Tuesday, KCNA quoted vice foreign minister Ri Thae Song saying: "What gift the U.S. receives for Christmas depends entirely on the US' decision".

"The dialogue touted by the US is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK [North Korea] bound to dialogue and use it in favour of the political situation and election in the US", Ri said.

Negotiations have faltered since a February summit between Kim Jong-un and Trump in Vietnam which broke down after the US rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. While they initially pledged to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", the two sides have so far failed to agree on what that means. However, a second summit in Hanoi in February ended abruptly with Kim and Trump leaving with no agreement.

There are plans for talks before the new year's negotiations deadline, but North Korea has sent a fresh warning to President Trump today in an attempt to secure concessions.

The U.S. State Department has said North Korea punishes those who practice religion through torture, imprisonment and even execution, according to its Report on International Religious Freedom. Trump made the statement after his national security adviser at the time, John Bolton, warned that the tests violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. For example, Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun told lawmakers last month that "we do not have a year-end deadline".

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". "No one will lend an ear to the USA any longer", he said.

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

The comments came just days after North Korea warned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe that he might be seeing a ballistic missile "under his nose" in the near future.

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