United States warns North Korea against ‘ill-advised behavior’ as deadline looms

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Washington on Wednesday used the meeting to warn of consequences for North Korea if it followed through with its promise of an ominous "Christmas gift" in the event that the U.S. does not come up with concessions by the end of the year. The US has offered to lift sanctions if Kim agrees to a denuclearisation programme.

North Korea's foreign ministry on Thursday criticised the United States as "foolish" for convening a UN Security Council meeting over growing concern about short-range rockets fired from the isolated state.

On Saturday, North Korea conducted what it called an "very important test" at its west coast satellite launching site better known as the Dongchang-ri site, spawning speculation that it could be preparing to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

That leaves unanswered what North Korea will do if Mr Trump holds firm to the USA refusal to relax its "maximum pressure" sanctions regime - and what Mr Trump would do if it defies warnings against testing long-range missiles or a nuclear bomb.

North Korean allies China and Russian Federation - which are U.N. Security Council veto powers along with France, Britain and the United States - have long said the council should reward Pyongyang after Kim pledged in 2018 to work toward denuclearization.

Ms Craft then hinted that the USA would seek further sanctions in the event Kim chooses to resume testing. She called on Pyongyang to stop "further hostility and threats" and to engage with Washington, then declared that, if not the UN Security Council had to be "prepared to act accordingly".

The US ambassador made it clear that the US would not be steamrolled into an agreement, but insisted that it was wiling to keep on talking.

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The two countries met in Stockholm in October in a start to working-level talks, though North Korea denounced the meeting, accusing the United States of not offering anything.

"We remain ready to take actions in parallel, and to simultaneously take concrete steps towards this agreement".

'We are prepared to be flexible in how we approach this matter'.

Two sources told The Washington Times the letter had been delivered to two of Trump's most senior North Korea policy staffers: Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger and acting National Security Council Asia Director Allison Hooker.

Beijing called for sanctions to be lifted, while Moscow blamed a failure in United States diplomacy for the latest rise in tensions.

US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea officials have also been hinting that the U.S. might receive an unwelcome "Christmas gift".

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"Kim Jong-un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way", Mr Trump tweeted on December 8.

This prompted a personal attack on Trump by Kim Yong Chol, a longtime aide to the top leader.

In a rare personal attack on Trump since the start of diplomacy, Kim Yong Chol, a longtime aide to the top leader, called the U.S. president a "heedless and erratic old man" and condemned his "odd words and expression".

North Korea has conducted 13 rounds of ballistic missile and rocket artillery tests since May to pressure Washington, and has hinted at lifting its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Trump administration fails to make substantial concessions before the new year.

In all seriousness, remember when Sam Smoothy went to North Korea to ski?

North Korean media reported that Kim was greatly satisfied with the missile launch.

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