Unwanted Christmas Gift From North Korea Could Ruin The Holiday

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You may have some cool new things on your Christmas list but a possible missile launch or nuclear test isn’t one of them. Several thousand miles away from the U.S. there are fears that this unwanted Christmas gift may interrupt our nation’s sacred holiday season.

In North Korea, Kim Jong Un has again used his military to threaten the United States, this time with a possible missile or nuclear launch test that would coincide with the Christmas holiday.

“North Korea has been advancing. It has been building new capabilities,” said Anthony Wier, a former State Department official who tracks nuclear disarmament for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. “As long as that continues, they gain new capabilities to try new missiles to threaten us and our allies in new ways,”

North Korea warned of a possible “Christmas gift” in early December, saying the Trump administration was running out of time on nuclear negotiations, and it was up to the U.S. to choose what “Christmas gift” it gets from Pyongyang.

Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said a review of the possible launch sites in North Korea shows they are a “basically ready to go.”

But the United States can not and will not be blindsided.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters that the U.S. has heard all the talk of a possible upcoming test around Christmas.

“I’ve been watching the Korean Peninsula for a quarter-century now. I’m familiar with their tactics, with their bluster,” he said. “We need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the peninsula. That is the best way forward and arguably the only way forward if we’re going to do something constructive.”

In the past, North Korea has used such military tests as a negotiating tactic. They believe that canceling these tests will show the world their goodwill, allowing other nations to feel more at ease with a looser financial leash.

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