Trump hopes for Christmas vase, not missile test, from North Korea

This photo taken on June 30, 2019, US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarised zone in Panmunjom, South Korea.
This photo taken on June 30, 2019, US President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarised zone in Panmunjom, South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

PALM BEACH (AFP) - US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Dec 24) said he hoped that North Korea would not deliver a missile test as its threatened "Christmas gift" that could reignite global tensions over its nuclear programme.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has promised the unidentified "gift" - which could be a missile test - if the US does not make concessions in nuclear talks by the end of the year.

"We'll find out what the surprise is and we'll deal with it very successfully," Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

"Everybody's got surprises for me, but let's see what happens. I handle them as they come along."

"Maybe it's a nice present, maybe it's a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test," the president joked.

Talks on denuclearisation as been largely deadlocked since a second summit between Trump and Kim in Hanoi collapsed at the start of this year.

Pyongyang has issued a series of increasingly assertive comments as its time limit approaches.

It has carried out a series of static tests at its Sohae rocket facility this month, after a number of weapons launches in recent weeks.