Washington, DC, USA: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted today in response to Kim Jong-Un, North Korea, DPRK, leader’s earlier nuclear button threat which he (Kim) made in his new year speech.
“A Nuclear Button Is Always On My Desk” – Kim Jong Un DPRK – “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.
South Korea’s unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, proposed holding high-level talks with North Korea next week in the border village of Panmunjom, where they last held contacts two years ago.
“We hope that the South and North can sit face to face and discuss the participation of the North Korean delegation at the Pyeongchang Games, as well as other issues of mutual interest for the improvement of inter-Korean ties,” Cho told reporters in Seoul.
Asked for a response to the diplomatic overtures, US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told journalists at the UN: “We won’t take any of the talks seriously if they don’t do something to ban all nuclear weapons in North Korea.”
“We consider this to be a very reckless regime,” the US envoy said. “We don’t think we need a Band-Aid, and we don’t think we need to smile and take a picture. We think that we need to have them stop nuclear weapons, and they need to stop it now. So North Korea can talk with anyone they want but the US is not going to recognise it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have.”
Nikki Haley distanced the Trump administration from proposed contacts between North and South Korea, saying it would not take any talks seriously if Pyongyang did not abandon its nuclear arsenal.
Trump’s latest tweet appeared to challenge Kim’s claim that North Korea has become a functional nuclear power, while delivering a warning that he stood ready to retaliate against a possible nuclear launch by Pyongyang.
The Trump administration has said little about the possibility of talks between North and South Korea, and Trump was unclear in a Tuesday morning tweet about whether the U.S. welcomed such a dialogue.
“Sanctions and ‘other’ pressures are beginning to have a big impact on North Korea,” Trump tweeted. “Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time. Perhaps that is good news, perhaps not – we will see!”
Meanwhile, South Korea says it has begun preliminary contacts with North Korea on a reopened cross-border communication.