'US Mainland in Our Nuclear Strike Range' - Kim Jong

Violet Powell
January 2, 2018

"The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table", he said, according to the Associated Press translation, in a speech carried by state television.

Moon's comments came after a New Year's Day speech by Kim who said he was "open to dialogue" with Seoul, and for North Korean athletes to possibly take part in the Winter Games, but steadfastly declared North Korea a nuclear power.

Cho told a media conference he expects the two Koreas to focus on bringing a North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begin next month, should the talks be held on January 9.

It also comes after South Korean President Moon Jae-in said improvement of inter-Korean relations was linked to resolving the North's nuclear programme.

"We're actually closer in my view to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we've ever been".

In an annual New Year's day speech, Kim said that "we sincerely hope the games will be successful".

The Peace House is a building in Panmunjom controlled by South Korea.

He said the North and South could meet urgently to discuss the North sending a delegation. How things turn out, he said, rests on whether China puts more pressure North Korea.

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Park said the presidential office has always stated its readiness to talk with the North anytime, anywhere and in any form if the dialogue is about peace on the Korean Peninsula.

"We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017", Kim said in a speech broadcast live by state TV.

Daniel Russel, the top USA diplomat for East Asia until last April and now at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said there was an argument to be made to encourage North Korea's Olympic participation but that it should not be taken too far.

Even so, Trump has also floated the idea of friendship with Kim on occasion, and has called on him to "make a deal" on North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"He wants to convince the worldwide community that his nuclear weapons are purely for self-defense and wants to have a negotiated solution with the United States on the basis that he gets to keep its nuclear deterrent capability, Zhao said".

The United States has also pressured China and other nations to cut trade and diplomatic ties with North Korea, as part of global efforts to dry up Pyongyang's illegal cash flows that could fund its weapons programs.

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

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