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Trump Quips That He Hopes Kim’s Holiday Gift Is ‘a Vase’

John Harney and Josh Wingrove

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he hoped that his Christmas present from Kim Jong Un “is a vase” -- hours after the North Korean leader pledged to show off a “new strategic weapon.”

“I think he is a man of his word,” Trump said in New Year’s Eve remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and U.S. officials have called on him to live up to his denuclearization pledges to Trump.

Kim told a gathering of party officials in Pyongyang that U.S. actions left him no choice but to reconsider commitments that underpinned three unprecedented meetings with Trump over the past 18 months, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday.

Kim Says North Korea Not Bound to Test Freeze, Built New Weapon

Kim called for “shocking actual action” to make the U.S. “pay for the pains” suffered by North Korea under the Washington-led sanctions regime, KCNA said.

North Korea had threatened that it would use the end-of-year holiday season to deliver a “Christmas gift” to the U.S. after demanding Washington make additional concessions as part of long-stalled nuclear talks between the two sides.

Kim did not offer specifics on any new weapons systems. But major weapons tests would renew the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula and undermine Trump’s efforts to tout his diplomatic outreach with Kim as he seeks re-election.

Kim has not spoken about any presents, but, in what might just be a coincidence, North Korean state TV on Wednesday has been airing a program on vases.

--With assistance from Jihye Lee.

To contact the reporters on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.net;Josh Wingrove in Palm Beach, Florida at jwingrove4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, John Harney

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