Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, said he is ‘open to dialogue’ with South Korea in the New Year.
The North Korean leader warned the United States that he has a ‘nuclear button’ on his desk if the U.S. threatens his regime.
"The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk."
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says the U.S will "never" be able to start a war with North Korea. pic.twitter.com/jFqAJ4GaU9
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) January 1, 2018
In a rare televised speech, the North Korean leader has called for peace. He said improving ties with South Korea is an ‘urgent issue’.
“It’s a grave matter to which the entire Korean nation needs to put its efforts towards resolving,” Kim said.
North Korea’s missiles have been at an edge against the South Koreans and the U.S. in 2017. The North Korean regime conducted several missile tests last year defying the international community.
The North Korean regime, after the UN announced the latest sanctions, said the UN sanctions were tantamount to an act of war.
The latest remarks by the North Korean leader indicate the North Korean willingness to get back to the table for discussion.
“Contacts and dialogues between the North and the South will expand exchanges and cooperation and we should dispel mutual misunderstanding and distrust, and take responsibility in our role as the main agent for reunification,” Kim Jong-un said in the televised statement.
Kim Jong-un's sudden proposal for dialogue with South Korea could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington https://t.co/8hiRj6MbRG
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) January 1, 2018
Meanwhile, the South Korean authority has welcomed the North Korean move. The presidential spokesperson of North Korea said, “We welcome that Kim expressed willingness to send a delegation and proposed talks as he acknowledged the need for improvement in inter-Korean ties.”
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) January 1, 2018
Presidential spokesperson Park Soo-hyun said South Korean President’s office “has been expressing its intent to talk with North Korea anytime, anywhere and regardless of formality if this is for the normalization of the inter-Korean relations and for the peace of the Korean Peninsula.”
The South Korean president’s office “hopes South and North Korea will peacefully resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue while closely cooperating with the international community,” Park Soo-hyun added.