Trump says US is watching North Korea closely

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International desk, December 17: President Donald Trump on Monday said he would be disappointed if something is “in the works” in North Korea and the United States is watching activities in the Asian nation closely.“I’d be disappointed if something would be in the works, and if it is, we’ll take care of it,” Trump said. “We’re watching it very closely.”

Tension has been rising in recent weeks, stoking fears the two countries could return to a collision course they had been on before launching diplomacy last year.

U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, arrived in Seoul on Sunday amid speculation he might try to salvage negotiations by reaching out to North Korea, which has vowed to take an unspecified “new path” if Washington fails to soften its stance before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said  that North Korea’s rhetoric was concerning and Pyongyang would likely carry out tests if they “don’t feel satisfied,” amid fears the two countries could return to the collision course they had been on before launching diplomacy.

“We have seen talk of tests. I think that they will be likely if they don’t feel satisfied,” Esper told reporters traveling with him from Luxembourg back to Washington. He did not provide details on what type of tests may be likely.

“I’ve been watching the Korean Peninsula for maybe a quarter of a century now. So I’m familiar with their tactics, with their bluster and I think we need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the Peninsula,” Esper said.

Source: Reuters