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[PyeongChang 2018] S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with NK

02 January 2018

"The United States will never start a war with me and our country", he said, adding that Pyongyang has "completed the creation of North Korea's nuclear forces".

In his annual New Year's Day address, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un offered what observers described as a rare olive branch toward his putative arch-enemies in South Korea, while also warning the USA that he was willing and able to attack the US with nuclear weapons in the event of a war.

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. Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors.

Asked to comment on Kim's speech, U.S. President Donald Trump said: "We'll see, we'll see", as he walked into a New Year's Eve celebration at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

But Park did not refer to Kim's order to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, as well as speeding up their deployment.

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Kim said that rather than encouraging US measures that "threaten the security and peace of the Korean peninsula", Seoul should instead respond to overtures from the North, and "stop nuclear war exercises with foreign forces".

Kim also reportedly highlighted the isolated state's economic achievements during the speech, and nodded towards trying to improve the country's standard of living.

"The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my desk". In his first New Year's address as North Korea's leader in 2013, Kim had frequently sounded short of breath, his voice wavering from time to time.

"Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same".

The PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held in February in South Korea's namesake county of PyeongChang in the eastern Gangwon province.

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An official from South Korea's Foreign Ministry said the 5,100-ton KOTI and its crew members were being held at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin port on the country's west coast amid an inspection over supposed "North Korea-related" activity.

He said the North and South could meet urgently to discuss the North sending a delegation.

"This is reality not a threat".

North Korea's past participation in sporting events in the South has largely depended on the political and military situation, though they did send a full team to the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, near Seoul. In the meantime, North Korea is also believed to be developing biological weapons and submarine-based missiles and honing its skills at cyber warfare (the USA recently accused the regime of being behind the global WannaCry ransomware attack last May).

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

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[PyeongChang 2018] S. Korea 'carefully' mulling timing of offering talks with NK