South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

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 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. "The U.S. can never start a war against myself and our nation now". The North was subsequently hit with toughened United Nations sanctions, and Kim and President Donald Trump exchanged warlike rhetoric and crude personal insults against each other.

"An improvement in inter-Korean relations may not go a separate way from (efforts) to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue, so I ask the foreign ministry to closely consult with our allies and the global community so that we may push for an improvement in inter-Korean relationship and the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue at the same time", he said.

The South Korean president welcomed the DPRK leader's New Year speech, ordering the unification and the culture and sports ministries to rapidly restore inter-Korean talks and draw up follow-up measures to make it possible for the DPRK delegation to participate in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Kim said in a broadcast New Year's address Sunday that the entire U.S.is now in range of North Korea's arsenal.

North Korea has rattled the worldwide community in recent months with multiple missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test - purportedly of a hydrogen bomb.

He said the North might also be using its potential Olympic participation as a chance to show its nuclear program is not meant to pose a threat to regional peace.

South Korea proposes high-level talks with North
South Korea proposes high-level talks with North

The Koreas, divided by the demilitarised zone since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, last held high-level talks in 2015 in an effort to ease border tensions.

Kim Gun-hee, a consultant on image making and leadership, said the grey suit may have been created to deflect some of the negative global attention Kim's nuclear and missile tests have prompted.

The North will only use nuclear weapons if its security is threatened, he added.

"Implicit in Kim Jong Un's speech is a willingness to engage with others, including the United States, on the basis of their acceptance of the "reality" of North Korea's permanent nuclear status".

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. But, he said: "The Olympic Games are about dialogue".

The U.S. State Department did not respond to a requests for comment on Kim's New Year's address, but analysts said it was an attempt to weaken the U.S.

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