After weeks of threatening the Trump administration with a “Christmas gift” that many assumed would be renewed ballistic missile tests, North Korea was notably silent as Christmas day passed. Kim’s threats were meant to press Trump toward offering concessions in the negotiations with the reclusive state, as Trump pushes for North Korea’s denuclearization and Kim aims to loosen stifling economic sanctions placed on North Korea by the international community.
“Emphasizing the need to take positive and offensive measures for fully ensuring the sovereignty and security of the country as required by the present situation, (Kim) indicated the duties of the fields of foreign affairs, munitions industry and armed forces of the DPRK,” North Korea’s state-owned KCNA news outlet reported this week.
Kim’s call for “positive and offensive measures” has been seen by some as a continuation of his Christmas threats; this is entirely feasible. Kim has long demanded that progress be made in talks between the two nations prior to the end of the year. So, while Trump may have called Kim’s bluff on Christmas, Kim may now be looking to make a statement at year’s end to demonstrate that his threats aren’t quite as empty as they seem.
However, outside the aggressive rhetoric, KCNA went on to report that Kim was placing an emphasis on the nation’s stifled economy. This may suggest that the situation within North Korea is dire enough, in the minds of the populace, that the state’s propaganda mouthpiece had to address it, or perhaps that Kim himself feels the need to reassure the populace.