After ordering more than 20 missile launches in 2017, North Korea dictator warned the United States in his annual New Year's address that country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not just a mere threat. But he seemingly balanced that defiant tone with a conciliatory one, just as South Korea gears up for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
"The Winter Olympic games that will be held soon in the South will be a good opportunity to display the status of the Korean nation and we sincerely wish that the event will be held with good results."
Kim also expressed interest in sending a North Korean delegation to participate in the games.
South Korea's presidential office welcomed Kim's proposal to hold talks between government officials about the possibility of sending a North Korean delegation to the Olympics--an apparent shift in tone between the two neighboring countries.
The office of President Moon Jae-in said the successful hosting of the Winter Olympics would not only bring about peace and harmony on the Korean Peninsula, but also throughout the entire world.
Flaunting a Western-style gray suit and tie, Kim said his country achieved the historic feat of "completing" its nuclear forces while adding that he now has a nuclear button on his desk.
"The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table," he said during the speech, as translated by The Associated Press. "The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range. ... The United States can never start a war against me and our country," Kim said.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.