North Korea issued its latest warning Tuesday that its end-of-year deadline for the United States to offer concessions in nuclear talks is approaching.
In a statement carried by state media, Ri Thae Song, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs handling U.S. affairs, said it is "entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get."
Ri also criticized U.S. efforts to conduct more talks with North Korea, saying such dialogue is only a "foolish trick" for political purposes.
The negotiations have been stalled since February with North Korea seeking sanctions relief before giving up any of its nuclear capability, a path the United States has so far rejected.
Tuesday's warning was the latest in veiled statements made by North Korean officials ahead of the deadline set by leader Kim Jong Un.
Last week, North Korea conducted its fourth launch this year of what it called a "super-large, multiple-rocket launch system," and warned it may soon launch a "real ballistic missile" in the vicinity of Japan.
North Korea last tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017, and conducted a nuclear test in September 2017.
In April 2018, Kim announced a self-imposed moratorium on ICBM and nuclear tests, saying North Korea "no longer need(s)" those tests.
Recently, North Korean officials have issued reminders that North Korea’s pause on ICBM and nuclear tests was self-imposed and can be reversed.