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16 Jan, 2020 13:42

US envoy in Seoul surprised & pleased N. Korea didn’t give ‘Christmas gift’

US envoy in Seoul surprised & pleased N. Korea didn’t give ‘Christmas gift’

The US ambassador to South Korea said on Thursday he was surprised and pleased that North Korea did not give the US an unwelcome “Christmas gift” because of stalled nuclear disarmament talks.

Pyongyang had warned that its “Christmas gift” to the US would depend on what action Washington took in the talks, leading to concerns that North Korea might conduct a major weapons test. It hasn't conducted any such test, although the US didn’t meet a year-end deadline set by leader Kim Jong-un to make concessions, AP said.

“You can say that I personally was surprised. But I’m glad also…  there was no Christmas gift,” Ambassador Harry Harris told reporters in Seoul. “Washington was ready for any eventuality, and we were all glad that there was no ICBM test or nuclear test.”

He said both President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in “are keeping the door open to negotiations and hoping Kim Jong-un will walk through that door.”