North Korean leader begins new year with threats against US

North Korean missiles will 'certainly' fly over Canada, a Japanese expert says

On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivered his 2018 New Year's Day address, as he has done every year since 2013.

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.

Moon's ruling Democratic Party also hailed the DPRK leader's New Year address, stressing the importance for inter-Korean dialogue.

The South Korean president requested the ministries of unification and sports to swiftly create measures to help North Korea participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Cho added that the specifics of the proposed talks, including its agenda, could be discussed through the inter-Korean hotline at Panmunjom, which has been cut off since 2016.

The Winter Olympics will be held from 9-25 February, followed by the Paralympics from 9-18 March. "Both the North and the South should make efforts".

But he reiterated his demand that the South Korean government stop holding joint military exercises with the US and stop bringing in USA weapons.

UNSC Resolution 2375, adopted in September, bans member countries from ship-to-ship transfers of any goods for North Korea.




Or perhaps Kim is simply looking to pursue d├ętente with the South and deterrence of the US on separate tracks.

However, he indicated that improvements in inter-Korean ties must go hand in hand with steps towards denuclearisation of the North.

If realized, the talks would mark the first inter-Korean dialogue since the Moon Jae-in government was sworn in last May. After the Olympics, inter-Korean ties could become frosty again because the North has made it clear it has no intention of accepting worldwide calls for nuclear disarmament and instead wants to bolster its weapons arsenal in the face of what it considers increasing USA threats.

Kim's hostile comments were offset by a diplomatic message. "These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened". "Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility", Kim said. "We truly wish the South a successful Olympics", Kim said in his address.

Seoul and the Games' organisers are very keen for the North to take part.

The pair could still be invited to compete by the International Olympic Committee.

Choi met North Korea's sports official Mun Woong in China on December 18 on the sidelines of a worldwide youth football tournament where North and South Korea soccer teams competed, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper reported.

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