Kim vows North Korea will mass-produce nuclear warheads and missiles

02 Enero, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.   AP

Trump referred to Kim's weight in one tweet, prompting the North Korean leader to call the USA president a "dotard" and warning of the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

"The entire mainland of the U.S.is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office".

North Korea's nuclear capabilities do not yet match Kim's boasts, experts say, since it is far from clear it could successfully deliver a nuclear weapon on one of its missiles. "They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality", he said in his New Year's address to his country Monday, according to a CNN translation of his speech.

"This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment", Kim said.

"He made a decision early on to deny the North Korean regime the capability to hit America with a nuclear-tipped missile", including the use of military force, if necessary, Graham said.

"The (President's office) has been expressing its intent to talk with North Korea anytime, anywhere and regardless of formality if this is for the normalization of the inter-Korean relations and for the peace of the Korean Peninsula", the spokesman said, adding that the President's office also "hopes South and North Korea will peacefully resolve North Korea's nuclear issue while closely cooperating with the worldwide community".

Both ships were among 10 vessels that the United States had proposed that the UN Security Council should blacklist for transporting banned items from North Korea, documents seen by Reuters this month showed. "Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility", Kim said.

South Korea has been trying to reassure the rest of the world that the Olympics will be safe despite the nuclear tensions, and President Moon Jae-in has said North Korea's participation would ensure their safety.

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

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John Delury, a professor of worldwide relations at Yonsei University in Seoul, said Kim's message to Seoul was "more promising" than he had anticipated, addressing in a specific and actionable way South Korea's desire to make the Games a success.

"The upcoming Olympics provide an important opportunity to break the ice and to begin discussions with the North Koreans on mutual steps that reduce the chances of miscalculation and war", he added.

"But an olive branch is always wrapped in some sort of belligerent coating in North Korea, it doesn't mean the end of the nuclear program ..."

In his New Year's address, Kim again denounced the exercises.

Kim's customary New Year's speech is closely watched for indications of the policy direction the unpredictable and reclusive leader is likely to pursue in the coming year.

"We hope to sit together (with the North) as concerned parties to find a solution to enhance stability on the peninsula while engaging with the global community in resolving the nuclear issue", the office said.

South Korea will be keeping the Hong Kong-flagged vessel for about six months, during which time Hong Kong is expected to file a request for the ship's release with the UNSC's sanctions committee on North Korea, Yonhap said. "But if we blink, God help us all", Graham said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation". "The United States can never start a war against me and our country".

Observers say Washington must open talks with the North to defuse tensions - but that remains a challenge.

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