News analysis

Jitters as North Korea reverts to sabre-rattling rhetoric

A North Korean official said that should US President Donald Trump call Mr Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man" again, that would represent a "very dangerous challenge".PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON - Increasingly bellicose rhetoric from North Korea has raised the spectre of a long-range ballistic missile or atmospheric nuclear test by Pyongyang, perhaps early in the New Year as it tries to force concessions from the United States in return for steps towards denuclearisation.

Earlier this week in London, President Donald Trump was distinctly less effusive about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un than he has been since they met and, in Mr Trump's words, "fell in love" in Singapore in June 2018 - and twice subsequently.

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