Donald Trump has brushed off North Korea’s warning of a “Christmas gift”, saying the United States would “deal with it very successfully” and that perhaps it would be a “nice present”.
The US president added: “Maybe it’s a present where he sends me a beautiful vase.”
Mr Trump was speaking to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida following speculation Pyongyang is set to conduct new tests on an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead.
The US has imposed tough sanctions, insisting North Korea ends all nuclear activity before they can be lifted.
The North has said that what “Christmas gift” it gives the United States depends on Washington’s actions.
Meanwhile, leaders from China, Japan and South Korea have reiterated their commitment to ending North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes at a trilateral summit.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the three agreed that “dialogue and consultation is the only effective way to solve the issues of the Korea Peninsula”.
“We three countries are willing to work together with the international community to solve the issue of the Korea Peninsula in a political way,” Mr Li said at a joint news conference following the meeting.
Mr Li, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in also said they discussed furthering regional co-operation on the economy, the environment and people-to-people exchanges.
“We all advocate for free trade and promote economic integration. China holds that safeguarding free trade benefits the protection of multilateralism, of world peace,” Mr Li said.
In his comments, Mr Moon said the sides agreed to support efforts to restart talks between Washington and Pyongyang so that “denuclearisation and peace… could actually advance”.
Mr Abe echoed that stance in his remarks, criticising North Korean missile launches as violating UN resolutions and seriously threatening regional security.
“For that purpose, it was confirmed that full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions remains important, and we need to maintain the momentum of the US-North Korea process,” Mr Abe said.
Although China is Pyongyang’s most important source of investment, diplomatic support and economic aid, it has shown little success in convincing Mr Kim’s government to abandon its nuclear arsenal.