Takeaways From Kim Jong-un's 2018 New Year's Address

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a New Year's speech on Monday he was "open to dialogue" with Seoul and for athletes from the North to possibly take part in the Winter Games.

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

Kim, wearing a Western-style grey suit and tie, said in his customary annual address his country had achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces and added he has a nuclear button on his desk.

Earlier Tuesday, Moon spoke of Kim's positive response to earlier South Korean dialogue overtures and ordered officials to study how to restore talks with North Korea and get the North to participate in the Olympics.

In this December 23, 2017, photo distributed on December 24, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a ruling party conference in Pyongyang.

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.

Beyond his talk of a "nuclear button", Kim Jong-un's most diplomatically significant remark in the address concerned inter-Korean relations. "Those who have been our friends for many years ask questions about our commitments to them.and our enemies, those that would do us ill, seem to be able to take advantage of the uncertainty".


South Korea has seized and inspected a Panama-flagged ship suspected of selling oil to North Korea at sea in violation of United Nations sanctions, maritime authorities said, according to Yonhap News Agency reported.

The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

He said the Olympics would be "a good chance" to show the greatness of the Korean people, CNN reported.

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

After the United Nations council passed the resolution, drafted by the U.S., Trump tweeted, "The World wants Peace, not Death!"

It is possible officials from the two countries may meet in the near future to discuss the idea, he said, adding that he hoped the event was successful.

  • Tracy Klein