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Did The Coronavirus Outbreak In China Delayed North Korea's 'Christmas Surprise'?

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk after lunch at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Washington Times: North Korea scraps 'Christmas surprise' amid China woes

SEOUL — North Korea has delayed its much-anticipated “Christmas surprise” of a major intercontinental ballistic missile test out of concern that such a provocation — after two years of stop-start nuclear diplomacy — would trigger sharp negative reactions from Washington and the international community.

South Korean analysts, including a high-level defector from the North, say Pyongyang’s planning for a launch also has been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak in China, which shares a long border with North Korea and serves as its closest security and economic ally.

“The most friendly country of North Korea — China — is having serious difficulties, and North Korea doesn’t want to make things worse,” said Lee Gee-dong, vice president of the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul. “I think for the coming three or four months, it will be quite quiet and the North Koreans will not carry out any provocative or dangerous actions against the world.”

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Update: China’s Coronavirus Outbreak Delayed North Korea’s ‘Christmas’ ICBM Launch - Report (Sputnik)

WNU Editor: If the above report is true, it would mean that China knew this was a crisis before Christmas.

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