Korean Leader Kim Says Nuclear Launch Button On His Desk

S. Korean President Moon Jae-in

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted in an annual New Year's Day speech Monday that he had a nuclear button on his desk and that the entire United States was within range of his weapons - but he also vowed not to attack unless threatened.

He also threatened both the United States and the entire world with his remark that "the whole territory of the U.S. is within the range of our nuclear strike and a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office and this is just a reality, not a threat".

US -based experts saw Kim's speech as a clear attempt to divide South Korea from its main ally, the United States, which has led an worldwide campaign to pressure North Korea to give up weapons programs aimed at developing nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.

As worldwide sanctions against the regime's continuous nuclear and missile provocations take a toll on the North Korean economy, Pyongyang may request the easing of global sanctions, economic cooperation and humanitarian assistance, the institute said in its report analyzing Kim's New Year speech.

"This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment", Kim said.

Kim said the Olympics would "serve as a good chance to display our Korean people's grace toward the world".

Inter-Korean talks need to begin so that the North can attend Pyeongchang Now that North Korea has hinted at a meeting between officials to discuss the North's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the South Korean government must strive for working-level deliberations to swiftly take place.

The US has no reason to oppose improved inter-Korean relations being used to open the door to North Korea-US negotiations aimed at resolving the nuclear issue.

Iranian VP accuses opponents of planning anti-Rouhani protests
However, he noted that a call for "No to high prices" protests had been circulated on the messaging app Telegram. Videos appearing to show protests in Neyshabour, near Mashhad, were also shared on social media.

He cautioned however that "as long as an unstable state which is neither war nor peace continues, the North and the South can not guarantee a success of the Olympics, sit down for talks or move forward for reunification".

South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon says the South proposes the two Koreas meet January 9 at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation and how to improve overall ties.

They could, however, still take part via an invitation from the International Olympic Committee.

The U.S. State Department did not respond to a requests for comment on Kim's address, but analysts said it was an attempt to weaken the U.S. We are waiting for North Korea's reply.

But North Korea has so far snubbed his overtures, including an offer to hold inter-Korean military talks about ceasing hostile activities along the border, as it tested missiles at an unprecedented pace. "These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened".

North Korea, which regularly threatens to destroy the United States, South Korea and Japan, tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile in November, which it said was capable of delivering a warhead to anywhere in the United States. We welcome the fact that North Korea strongly hinted at its willingness to improve inter-Korean relations in the New Year.

"We welcome it", a statement said.

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