While North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un failed to deliver on the “Christmas gift” this year, he has started 2020 by taunting the US with promises of new weapons and resumed missile testing.

Frustrated with the slow pace of nuclear-disarmament negotiations with the U.S. that may bring his country relief from economic sanctions, Kim warned that he’ll soon unveil a new strategic weapon.

North Korea’s state media reported Wednesday that Kim made the comments during a four-day meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party in the capital city of Pyongyang, where he said the secretive country will never give up its security for economic benefits as it faces what Kim described as increasing U.S. hostility and nuclear threats.

Kim also indicated that his regime would lift its moratoria on nuclear and inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests, which was put in place in the wake of the Singapore Summit. The Trump administration seems to be shrugging off North Korea’s current taunting.

By mentioning Kim’s agreement in Singapore about denuclearization, Trump stressed he still had a “good relationship” with the North Korean leader and added he has no questions that Kim will keep his word in refraining from conducting such tests.

Intelligence officials in Seoul said it appeared Kim was not going to give a New Year’s Day address, which he has delivered annually since 2013, this year. The KCNA has not mentioned any upcoming speech and Pyongyang’s main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, didn’t publish the text of a 2020 address in its Wednesday edition.

North Korea expert Park Hyeong-jung believes the current swipes from North Korea are nothing more than staged drama in response to the passing of an arbitrary negotiation deadline set by the rogue nation.

Park is with the Korea Institute for National Unification, a government think tank in Seoul, and says Pyongyang will not “take any action to damage its relationship with the U.S. irreparably.”

Pyongyang had warned it could take a tougher “new way” if the U.S. failed to meet its demands for concessions by year’s end.

“Kim Jong Un will have to stage some anger at the U.S. and chastise them” for ignoring his year end deadline, Park predicts, but could be willing to return to the negotiating table by summer if the U.S. shows signs of accommodating Pyongyang.

On the other hand, former national security adviser John Bolton asserted the US should resume military exercises with South Korea and hold hearings to determine US troop readiness on the Korean peninsula.

“How to respond to Kim Jong Un’s threatening New Year’s remarks? The U.S. should fully resume all canceled or down-sized military exercises in South Korea,” Bolton, who’s been highly critical of President Trump’s handling of Kim’s nuclear ambitions, wrote on Twitter Wednesday.

“Hold Congressional hearings on whether US troops are truly ready to ‘fight tonight.’” he added, referring to the motto of the US military in South Korea.

After 2019’s release of the “Afghanistan Papers,” indicating that the US government repeatedly misled the public about its level of success during the 18-year conflict, distorted information about the fundamental purpose of the endeavor, and squandered billions in taxpayer dollars doing so, I more incline to give Trump’s psychology-based approach more time to work.

I predict that sometime in 2020, Trump will receive a vase from Kim, and there will be another summit of some kind.

 

 
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