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.
Kim's offer of talks and sporting co-operation with South Korea follows a year dominated by fiery rhetoric and escalating tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. We are waiting North Korea's reply.
In his address, Kim called for peace on the Korean peninsula.
The Peace House is a building in Panmunjom controlled by South Korea.
"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to showcase the national pride and we wish the Games will be a success". "The entire mainland of the USA is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office".
"This is reality not a threat. The United States will never start a war with me and our country", he said, adding that Pyongyang has "completed the creation of North Korea's nuclear forces".
Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute, told CNN the softened tone toward South Korea was a surprise. "That's not a basis on which the United States is prepared to engage", he said.
North Korea hasn't immediately reacted.
Tension has been rising between the United States and North Korea in recent months.
Despite the apparent olive branch, Kim also repeated claims that he could hit anywhere in the US with a nuclear weapon, and called for mass production of nuclear warheads. In the address, Kim celebrated the completion of North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, offered to enter conditional talks with South Korea with the offer of potentially sending a delegation to the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea, and condemned global sanctions. "The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet", the report continued, referring to North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
But he also hinted at diplomatic overtures to South Korea amid increasingly crippling sanctions.
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