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North Korea's Kim Jong-un issues threats and olive branch

January 1, 2018 3:36 pm

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has said a nuclear launch button is “always on my table” and warned the US it will never be able to start a war.

In a televised new year speech, he said the entire US was within range of North Korean nuclear weapons, adding: “This is reality, not a threat.”

But he also offered a potential olive branch to South Korea, suggesting he was “open to dialogue”.

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North Korea may also send a team to the Winter Olympics in Seoul, he said.
What is President Trump’s reaction?

When asked by reporters to respond to Mr Kim’s latest threats, US President Donald Trump said, “We’ll see, we’ll see”.

He was speaking at the sidelines of New Year’s Eve celebrations at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Where is the US-North Korean war of words heading?
Can the world live with a nuclear North Korea?

North Korea has come under increased criticism and sanctions over the past year because of its nuclear weapons programme and repeated testing of conventional missiles.

It claims to have a fully deployable nuclear weapon, though there is still some international scepticism about its true capacity to carry out such an attack.

In his speech, Mr Kim re-emphasised his focus on the weapons programme, but implied the country still has a few stages left to go before achieving its ambitions. North Korea must “mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and speed up their deployment”, he said.

He also said they would not use their weapons unless they felt that peace was threatened.

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