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

Parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

Saanich homeowner feels harassed over unsightly premises dispute

Staff recommending council declare the items on Whiteside Road property be declared a nuisance

Indigenous leader shares traditional knowledge of B.C. plants for Earth Day

Guided walks through Beacon Hill Park provide insight to historical uses of Camas, Indian Plum, snow berries

Dix says B.C. remains focused on fighting youth overdoses in wake of teen’s death

Elliot Eurchuk’s parents say he died at his Oak Bay home after taking street drugs

Protecting farmland, but at what cost?

Some advocates want ALC rules to put farmers and food security first

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Trump says North Korea agreed to denuclearize. It hasn’t.

Trump is claiming that North Korea has agreed to “denuclearization” before his potential meeting with Kim, but that’s not the case.

Suspect in deadly Waffle House shooting still being sought

Police say Travis Reinking is the suspect in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant Sunday in Nashville that left four people dead.

G7 warned of Russian threats to western democracy

Ukraine foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin warns G7 of Russian war against Western democracy

Scientist warns of declining biodiveristy in Saanich

Saanich residents can learn more about the local effects of climate change… Continue reading

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Taking the sting out of nourishing nettles

Linda Geggie For the Saanich News When you think of nettles you… Continue reading

Final week for ALR input

Public consultation process closes April 30

‘When everybody leaves: Counselling key to help Humboldt move on after bus crash

Dealing with life after a tragedy can be the worst part following a loss

Most Read