Pentagon Official: ‘We Don’t Fully Know the Reasons’ North Korea Didn’t Fire ‘Christmas Gift’

US media hyped a 'Christmas gift' that never happened

In the lead-up to Christmas, all eyes were on North Korea. Suggestions in the reclusive nation’s state media that they might send some kind of “Christmas gift” launch were taken as an absolute given, with US media outlets reporting a missile launch as something scheduled for that date, and pressing the administration on their planned response.

There was no launch, and therefore no response, and that fueled a lot of media speculation on why something they assumed would happen didn’t. The Pentagon issued a statement Tuesday saying they similarly did not know why North Korea didn’t do something more provocative.

Undersecretary of Defense John Rood told the House Armed Services Committee he didn’t fully understand why North Korea didn’t do something, but said North Korea had done short-range rocket launches before that, and that was still something.

He added that the US remains alert, and warned North Korea that they’d consider any launches as “provocative activities” and would respond. That said, they still might conduct such tests, since North Korea has said they no longer consider themselves bound by the freeze.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of