The North Korean government said Wednesday that the United States should expect a "Christmas gift" from Pyongyang as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un once again rode a horse up the symbolic Mt. Paektu.

North Korea has alleged that the U.S. is trying to use a dialogue with Kim for political gain, as a year-end deadline for a deal regarding the country's controversial nuclear program looms. 

"The dialogue touted by the US is, in essence, nothing but a foolish trick hatched to keep the DPRK bound to dialogue and use it in favor of the political situation and election in the U.S.," Ri Thae Song, an official at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, said in a statement. "It is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get."

The "Christmas gift" from North Korea could be an intercontinental ballistic missile launch (ICBM). North Korea in July 2017 had conducted an ICBM launch, which Pyongyang said was a "gift" for the U.S.

Kim on Wednesday rode Mt. Paektu on a white horse — the second time in the last two months he has done so. Journeys to the mountain are seen as having a symbolic connotation, as the mountain is depicted on the national emblem of North Korea. The North Korean government also claims that Kim's father Kim Jung-il was born there. 

The journey to Mt. Paektu could mean that Kim makes a major announcement soon. The U.S. and North Korea are currently stalled in their nuclear negotiations. Both countries' negotiators last met in Sweden in October but talks fell through on the first day of discussions. North Korea would like for sanctions to be relieved against the isolated country, while the U.S. would like for Pyongyang to commit to a denuclearization program. 

President Trump and Kim have met in Vietnam and Singapore for diplomatic negotiations without reaching a deal. Trump and Kim have had an inconsistent relationship having traded barbs as well as compliments.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton has suggested that there is little chance that North Korea would commit to a denuclearization program. Trump on Tuesday referenced how he has called Kim "Rocket Man" and that Kim "likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he?"

The imagery of Kim on a white horse is heavy with symbolism in North Korea The imagery of Kim on a white horse is heavy with symbolism in North Korea Photo: KCNA VIA KNS / STR