Ensuring Security in the Asia Pacific Region
“North Korean leader offers olive branch in New Year address devoid of threats or bombast
North Korea’s leader sent a rare conciliatory signal on Thursday, offering “highest-level talks” with his counterparts in the South.
Kim Jong-un delivered a televised New Year message notably devoid of threats and bombast.
In the past, North Korea has promised variously to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire”, destroy its neighbour with “merciless strikes” and launch nuclear weapons at America. Last month, North Korea compared President Barack Obama to a “monkey” and threatened to attack the White House, the Pentagon and the entire “cesspool of terrorism” known as the “US mainland”.
But Mr Kim, who tested a nuclear weapon in 2013, dropped the rhetoric and proffered an olive branch during his latest public appearance. He promised to “make every effort to advance dialogue and negotiations”, adding that the “tragic” division of the Korean peninsula should be healed.”