In a New Year speech, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un vowed to accelerate mass production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.
“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat,” he said. “This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment.”
“It is necessary to activate large-scale production and practical deployment of nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles,” Kim said. “[Norh Korea] can cope with any kind of nuclear threats from the US and has a strong nuclear deterrence that is able to prevent the US from playing with fire.”
Kim said that it is important that military tensions on the Korean peninsula be lowered and added that the path to dialogue with South Korea was open.
According to the North Korean leader, Pyongyang was mulling the sending of a delegation to the Winter Olympics Games which are set to be held in South Korea in February.
“The Winter Games to be held in South Korea will be a good occasion for the country. We sincerely hope that the Winter Olympics will be a success. We have readiness to take various steps, including the dispatch of the delegation,” Kim said. “North Korea’s participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility.”