“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat..The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range..The United States can never start a war against me and our country” Mr Kim Jong-Un, North Korea, DPRK, leader said during a televised New Year’s Day speech. During the address Mr Kim also made overtures to South Korea, saying the path to dialogue was open and adding it was imperative to lower military tensions on the peninsula.
Kim, wearing a Western-style gray suit and tie, said in his customary annual address his country had achieved the historic feat of “completing” its nuclear forces and added he has a nuclear button on his desk.
The dictator tempered his rhetoric on deterrence with the suggestion he may send a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics when they are held in February.
“The Winter Olympic games that will be held soon in the South will be a good opportunity to display the status of the Korean nation and we sincerely wish that the event will be held with good results,” he said.
This year’s speech was seen as particularly important because of the high tensions over Pyongyang’s frequent missile launches and its nuclear test in 2017. The tests were the focus of fiery verbal exchanges between the North and U.S. President Donald Trump, who has derisively called Kim, “little rocket man.”
North Korea carried out a number of nuclear tests last year, including a test on Nov. 29 of its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet.
Kim also stressed North Korea’s economic achievements during the speech, and noted the importance of improving the nation’s standard of living.
South Korea’s presidential office says it welcomes the proposal to hold talks between government officials over the issue of North Korea sending a delegation to the Olympics. The office of President Moon Jae-in says the successful hosting of the Pyeongchang Olympics will contribute to peace and harmony not only on the Korean Peninsula and in northeast Asia but in the entire world.