Kim Jong-un extends olive branch to South Korea's Olympic Games

Progress? Kim Jong-un used his New Year's address to make overtures to South Korea ahead of the Winter Olympics the South has now responded

"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".

He appeared open to the prospect of sending a North Korean delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics, which will be hosted by South Korea at Pyeongchang in February 2018.

"Implicit in Kim Jong Un's speech is a willingness to engage with others, including the United States, on the basis of their acceptance of the "reality" of North Korea's permanent nuclear status". Relations between the Koreas have plunged as North Korea has expanded its weapons programs amid a hard-line stance by Moon's conservative predecessors.

The remarks indicate an opening for dialogue after months of tensions that have seen President Donald Trump's administration warn of military action to prevent Kim from threatening the US with nuclear weapons.

The main venues for the Games are just 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the heavily fortified border with North Korea and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by the nuclear weapons standoff. "This year we should focus on mass-producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment".

South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon says the South proposes the two Koreas meet Jan. 9 at the border village of Panmunjom to discuss Olympic cooperation

"The change from the (Kim's) previous dark Maoist suits to a softer toned grey Western-style suit likely aimed to underpin peace which Kim stressed in his address, and reflected a relaxed state of mind that probably came with the completion of the North's nuclear power", the Institute said.

"Kim Jong Un's strategy remains the same". On Sunday, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen told ABC News that the USA was closer than ever before to nuclear war with North Korea.

The minister said communication channels between the two Koreas in Panmunjom should be restored immediately to hold the inter-Korean, inter-governmental talks, suggesting to discuss details on the January 9 dialogue, such as setting agenda and forming delegations through the restored communication channels.

South Korea's president, Moon Jae-in, has encouraged Pyongyang to send a delegation to the Games, hoping their presence would help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Kim also emphasized that "the nuclear button is always on my desk", which he said is "not blackmail but reality". Alternatively, he may see this as an opportunity to drive a wedge between his enemies if South Korea, which has no appetite for war with the North, attempts to make a deal that the Trump administration won't support.

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