President Donald Trump downplayed reports that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was preparing a surprise “Christmas gift” for the United States that might result in a long-range missile test.
“Oh, that’s OK. We’ll find out what the surprise is, and we’ll deal with it successfully. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “Everyone’s got surprises for me.”
Trump spoke to reporters at his club at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday after conducting a video conference call with members of the military to wish them Merry Christmas.
He dismissed the alarming reports, joking that Kim might send him a “nice present” instead of a missile test.
“We’ll see what happens. Let’s see. Maybe it’s a nice present; maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test. … You never know,” Trump said.
Trump has stressed his personal relationship with Kim, suggesting that the dictator would stop the long-range missile tests after multiple meetings to discuss stopping the production of nuclear weapons and threatening the region.
Kim wants significant American economic sanctions removed, but the United States has indicated that it wants to denuclearize the Korean peninsula before that it possible.