S.Korea offers high-ranking govt talks with N.Korea on January 9

S.Korea offers high-ranking govt talks with N.Korea on January 9

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.

The remarks indicate an opening for dialogue after months of tensions that have seen President Donald Trump's administration warn of military action to prevent Kim from threatening the US with nuclear weapons.

"To host the great events of the nation with splendor and demonstrate the dignity and stamina of the nation, we should melt frozen north-south relations, thus adorning this meaningful year as a year to be specially recorded in the history of the nation", he added.

Presidential office spokesperson Park Soo-hyun was speaking after Pyongyang's state-run TV channel aired Kim's New Year address on Monday.

"The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table", he said, according to the Associated Press translation, in a speech carried by state television.

Kim also said he was open to dialogue with Seoul, prompting South Korea on Tuesday to propose high-level talks between the two countries on January 9 at the border truce village of Panmunjeom.

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He also proclaimed that his country achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces in 2017. He said the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics would be a good opportunity to showcase the status of the Korean nation. On Nov. 29, it test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile which it said was its most advanced yet, capable of reaching the mainland United States.

The U.S. State Department did not respond to a requests for comment on Kim's address, but analysts said it was an attempt to weaken the U.S. He said North Korea's nuclear deterrent was "irreversible" and that it would prevent Trump from starting a war. Adm. Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that the United States is "closer to a nuclear war with North Korea" than ever. 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.

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

"The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk".

The war games included attacks against a mock North Korean missile launch site with mock North Korean radars.

South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, has encouraged Pyongyang to send a delegation to the Games, hoping their presence would help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

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