In a closely watched, annual New Year’s day speech that was televised on North Korean tv Kim Jong-un said he has a ‘nuclear button’ on his desk while warning that the entire US is within his range.
He also announced plans to start mass-producing nuclear warheads and also, surprisingly, reached out to South Korea to talk about the de-escalation of tensions between North and South Korea and North Korea possibly participating in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Jong-un also warned that America now can ‘never start a war against me and our country’ due to the nuclear capability that North Korea now has.
He also said, “We must mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and speed up their deployment.’
Jong-un said, ‘We should always keep readiness to take immediate nuclear counter-attacks against the enemy’s scheme for a nuclear war.’
‘The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table. 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.’
Jong-un also appeared to extend an olive branch to South Korea by saying that the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics would be a good opportunity for North Korea to show itself and communicate with the world and that North and South Korea should meet to discuss the options on how this could work.
Jong-un said, ‘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.’
Jong-un aggressively threatened the U.S. saying, “The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.”
“No matter how much America wants to attack us with their military might and nuclear power, they know that now we possess such great nuclear power and therefore they will not dare.”
He said the biggest 2017 accomplishment was the “historic accomplishment of completing our nuclear capabilities.”
On Sunday, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen said that the United States is “closer to a nuclear war with North Korea” than ever.
North Korea has extended olive branches in speeches before but typically they do not come to fruition and serve as propaganda.
The UN Security Council recently unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea in response to their November 29th ballistic missile test. The sanctions were focused on restricting North Korea’s energy supply.
Secretary of Defense Mattis said on Friday that he thinks the world will exert “increased pressure” on North Korea in the upcoming months.
Mattis’ comments comes on the heels of satellite photos that purportedly show China supplying North Korea with oil, despite China agreeing to the UN sanctions on North Korea that forbid that very act.
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