Kim Jong Un: Nuclear button is always on his desk

02 January, 2018, 10:52 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • S. Korean President Moon Jae-in

The US will never be able to start a war against North Korea now that his country has developed the capability to hit all of the US mainland with its nuclear weapons, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has claimed.

South Korean authorities have seized a Panama-flagged vessel suspected of transferring oil products to North Korea in violation of worldwide sanctions, a customs official said Sunday.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myong-gyon offered on Tuesday high-ranking government talks with North Korea next week at the border village of Panmunjom, a day after Pyongyang suggested talks despite sticking to its nuclear ambitions.

Tension has been rising over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, which it pursues in defiance of years of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with bellicose rhetoric coming from both Pyongyang and the White House.

Tension has been rising between the United States and North Korea in recent months.

"These military exercises that you have with our enemy the US must be halted at this very moment, because this behavior only causes fire and destruction on this great country", the North Korean leader said, apparently addressing South Korea. "They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality", Kim said.

In this December 23, 2017, photo distributed on December 24, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a ruling party conference in Pyongyang.

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Beyond his talk of a "nuclear button", Kim Jong-un's most diplomatically significant remark in the address concerned inter-Korean relations. "And you mentioned both Russian Federation and China and my expectation is that will continue to be the case for them, as well as Iran and North Korea".

Moon's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

An official from South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the 5,100-ton KOTI was being held at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port on the country's west coast.

"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success".

Despite the apparent olive branch, Kim also repeated claims that he could hit anywhere in the US with a nuclear weapon, and called for mass production of nuclear warheads.

After reiterating that his country had "completed" its nuclear deterrent against the United States - a fact that its state media proclaimed following the successful flight-test of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental-range ballistic missile on November 29 - Kim added that he had a "nuclear button" physically installed on his desk in his office.

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