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Kim Jong-un: North Korea's nuclear arsenal is now complete

Kim Jong-un: North Korea's nuclear arsenal is now complete

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.

After reiterating that his country had "completed" its nuclear deterrent against the United States - a fact that its state media proclaimed following the successful flight-test of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental-range ballistic missile on November 29 - Kim added that he had a "nuclear button" physically installed on his desk in his office. But Kim also repeated that South Korea must stop annual military exercises with the United States, which he calls an invasion rehearsal against the North.

In that context, there was little in Kim's speech to suggest that President Donald Trump's bellicose rhetoric and uncompromising position on North Korea have succeeded at intimidating him into submission, but his combination of nuclear saber-rattling at the US with an overture of reconciliation to South Korea could provide some clues as to Pyongyang's diplomatic strategy going forward.

Pyongyang and Seoul should improve their relations and the path to dialogue is open, Mr Kim was reported as saying.

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korean authorities have seized a Panama-flagged oil tanker suspected of evading worldwide sanctions by trading with North Korea, officials said Sunday.




He said the North and South could meet urgently to discuss the North sending a delegation.

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 main venues for the Games are just 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border with North Korea and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by the nuclear weapons standoff.

Whether or not Kim Jong-un has a physical button to authorize launch or not, it remains the case that North Korea's nuclear weapons continue to see highly centralized and assertive command and control. If the Olympics become a vehicle for rapprochement between the Koreas, and especially if that entails a pause in our war games, Kim may be trying to get the tail to wag the dog, forcing Washington to follow Seoul's lead into détente. Yet he insisted that both North and South Korea "should make efforts".

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


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