SEOUL—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in a speech Monday that Pyongyang had completed its nuclear weapons program, which could reach any point in the continental U.S., though it extended an apparent olive branch to South Korea, potentially putting the two allies in an awkward position.
Kim said “a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office,” during an annual televised New Year’s address. He called on Washington to acknowledge that North Korea had weapons that could deter any military attack from the U.S.
“The United States can never fight a war against me and our state,” said a husky-voiced Kim, who was wearing a light gray Western suit.
He said the North should accelerate mass production of nuclear warheads and ballistic rockets “whose power and credibility are assured” while “maintaining nuclear counterattack capabilities at all times” in the new year.
But Kim also suggested that Pyongyang was willing to engage in talks with South Korea, saying the North would be open to sending a delegation to next month’sWinter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a ski resort in the South.
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