In a televised speech for the new year, the North Korean leader said on Sunday that his warnings about Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities are not idle threats but “reality.” The leader also addressed South Korea in an appeasing tone and said he hoped for improved relations between the two countries.

Kim Jong-un giving his New Year's address

Kim Jong-un giving his New Year’s address Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

In a televised New Year’s address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the US mainland is within the regime’s nuclear range, pointing out that his statement is not a threat, but a reality. Kim emphasized that the nuclear launch button “is always on his desk.”

The North Korean leader told spectators that Pyongyang will use its nuclear weapons only if it feels its security threatened. Contrasting his portentous rhetoric towards the US, Kim addressed Seoul with a more appeasing attitude. The leader said that the two Koreas must improve their relations and that he wishes for a peaceful resolution and open dialogue between the countries.

Kim also spoke of the upcoming Winter Olympic games that will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.  The dictator said his country is “considering the possibility” of participating in the games and said he hoped the event would be a success.

North Korean missile test

North Korean missile test Photo Credit: EPA-EFE