President Donald Trump on Tuesday responded to a recent cryptic threat issued by North Korea in which they said they would be sending the United States a “Christmas gift,” which the president said he would deal with, whatever it may be.
According to The Hill, the threat came as Pyongyang continues to mount pressure on the U.S. to agree to better terms for future denuclearization talks. The second round of talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a summit earlier this year in Vietnam broke down after two days, with both sides refusing to come to an agreement on concessions.
Trump was confident when telling reporters on Christmas Eve that he’s ready for whatever North Korea does, whether it be a missile-test or a “beautiful vase,” the president joked.
“Oh that’s OK, we’ll find out what the surprise is and we’ll deal with it very successfully,” Trump said. “Let’s see what happens. Everybody’s got surprises for me, but let’s see what happens. I handle them as they come along.”
Given the rampant speculation by a number of top military experts that the “gift” will likely come in the form of a long-range missile test, Trump was asked how he might respond, given that the country hasn’t tested a long-range, intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 2017.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said on Tuesday. “Maybe it’s a nice present. 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 never know,” the president added.
The Hill noted that the president has been paying special attention to the rogue nation recently as top officials in his administration have warned that something big from Kim Jong Un could be on the horizon.
When North Korea last warned of a ‘gift’ for the US, it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2017. This weekend's likely engine test at a known missile site indicates Kim Jong Un may be preparing another provocative 'Christmas gift,' as his year-end deadline looms. pic.twitter.com/PMIqSqrVjO— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) December 8, 2019
As The Inquisitr previously reported, a number of experts believe that North Korea will likely perform an ICBM test, citing recent satellite images that show a number of unusual — but predictable — movements around missile production and modification facilities in the country.
Vipin Narang, a professor of political science at MIT, explained that this is Kim Jong Un’s version of a “maximum pressure” campaign on Trump and his administration. Narang said that North Korea is likely dialing up the heat to force the U.S. to relieve sanctions and come to favorable terms for future talks.
“Now, with the end of the year approaching we may end up seeing what Kim Jong Un can do when he turns up the volume,” Narang said.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Charles Brown believes that North Korea’s surprise gift could come on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, American time.