This was followed by promises of a “Christmas gift” in December, which was widely speculated to be the test of a more advanced long range missile system. Kim most recently announced that North Korea would no longer be bound by its own limits on long range missile and nuclear testing, and stated that “the world will witness a new strategic weapon” system soon.

Some experts have been concerned that the United States is on the cusp of losing its last chance to prevent a real nuclear threat from North Korea. Former national security adviser John Bolton, for instance, tweeted only a few weeks ago that the United States needs to act fast before North Korea “has the technology to threaten the American homeland.” Others, though, including apparently some officials in the administration, view the lack of a “Christmas gift” as a demonstration of the success of President Trump.

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