Kim Jong-Un risks losing “everything” if the North Korean leader “acts in a hostile way,” U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday after the North reported it had carried out a “successful test of great significance.”
“Kim Jong-Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore,” Trump tweeted, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
“He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November,” Trump said.
North Korean state-run propaganda outlet KCNA reported that Kim Jong-Un’s regime carried out a “very important” test at its Sohae satellite launch site, a rocket testing ground that U.S. officials once said Pyongyang had promised to close.
KCNA did not specify exactly what was tested, but the report has fueled concerns of military tension ahead of North Korea’s proposed “year-end” deadline for resuming nuclear negotiations.
The Korea Times noted in a Dec. 8 report that the U.S. “has been keeping tight surveillance on North Korea lately, deploying the RC-135S Cobra Ball aircraft which tracks missile launches.”
The KCNA report came after a phone call between Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In. The presidential office in Seoul said the two leaders spoke on the phone for 30 minutes at the request of Trump.
The liberal Moon has hoped for a third U.S.-North Korea summit before the year closes to expedite his “peace process” on the Korean Peninsula, the Korea Times noted. “This has been particularly important for him as the South Korean leader marked the second half of his presidency last month with not much to show for, except for some achievements in inter-Korean relations.”
Meanwhile, a top North Korean diplomat claimed the subject of denuclearization will no longer be discussed between the North and the U.S.
“We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and denuclearization is already off the negotiating table,” Kim Song, ambassador of North Korea’s UN mission, said in a statement released by its ministry of foreign affairs on Sunday.
The remarks were in response to a joint statement following a United Nations Security Council meeting on Dec. 4 in condemnation of North Korea’s test firings.
Trump added: “North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong-Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised. NATO, China, Russia, Japan, and the entire world is unified on this issue!”