North Korea warns U.S. of its nuclear force

Kim says US should know North Korean nuclear force a reality

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday that the United States should be aware that his country’s nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. But he also struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year’s address, wishing success for the Winter Olympics set to begin in South Korea in February and suggesting the North may send a delegation to participate.

Kim, wearing a Western-style grey suit and tie, said in his customary annual address that his country had achieved the historic feat of “completing” its nuclear forces and added that he has a nuclear button on his desk.

“The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table,” he said during the speech, as translated by The Associated Press.

“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,” Kim said.

He also called for improved relations with the South, an idea mentioned in speeches more often than it is met. He said the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics would be a good opportunity to showcase the status of the Korean nation.

He also said the two Koreas could meet urgently to discuss the North sending a delegation.

“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.

South Korea’s presidential office said it welcomed 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 said the successful hosting of the Pyeongchang Olympics would contribute to peace and harmony not only on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia, but in the entire world.

The New Year’s address is an annual event in North Korea and is watched closely for indications of the direction and priorities Kim may adopt in the year ahead.

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 North Korea and President Donald Trump, who has derisively called Kim “little rocket man.”

Kim also stressed North Korea’s economic achievements during the speech, and noted the importance of improving the nation’s standard of living.

___

Talmadge, the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief, reported from Tokyo.

Eric Talmadge And Kim Tong-Hyung, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Judgment reserved in Nakusp school sex trial

Trial concluded today with lawyer’s summations

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Genelle ‘vehicle incident’ under RCMP investigation

Regional firefighters respond to car fire Sunday night

Kootenay Boundary remains in unusually dangerous avalanche period

Avalanche Canada says it expects snowpack conditions to get better soon

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

SKI TIPS: The key to skiing in heavy powder

Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson shows how to navigate powder with ease

Leafs’ five-game winning streak snapped by Nitehawks

Nelson fell 4-1 on the first of three straight games this weekend

The book club master

Nelson’s Hazel Mousley takes book clubs to the next level

Glacier freezes competition in Spokane

The gymnastics club returned home with 35 medals

Remembering the man who carved Nelson’s iconic welcome signs

Art Waldie did the majority of the work on the signs in the 1970s

LVR Bombers fundraising for 3 players

Rugby teams hope to help trio of students go on tour in March

Gryphon Trio coming to Nelson

Artists here for first time since 2013

Most Read