South Korea offers high-ranking government talks with North Korea on January 9


"The entire mainland of the within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office".

North Korea's nuclear capabilities do not yet match Kim's boasts, experts say, since it is far from clear it could successfully deliver a nuclear weapon on one of its missiles.

As worldwide sanctions against the regime's continuous nuclear and missile provocations take a toll on the North Korean economy, Pyongyang may request the easing of global sanctions, economic cooperation and humanitarian assistance, the institute said in its report analyzing Kim's New Year speech.

North Korea past year conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test and test-launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of its push to possess a nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.

North Korea may demand a price for its participation in the Winter Olympics next month, a South Korean think tank said Monday.

Kim said the Olympics would "serve as a good chance to display our Korean people's grace toward the world".

North Korea could send a delegation to the South for the 2018 Winter Olympics, in the first indication Pyongyang may participate in next month's Games despite tensions over its nuclear weapons programme. "The United States can never start a war against me and our country".

After welcoming Kim's address, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked his government earlier in the day to move as quickly as possible to bring North Korea to the Olympics.

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Games organisers and Seoul have both been keen for the North to take part, but Pyongyang's participation in sporting events in the South has largely depended on the political and military situation on the Korean peninsula.

The U.S. State Department did not respond to a requests for comment on Kim's address, but analysts said it was an attempt to weaken the U.S.

But North Korea has so far snubbed his overtures, including an offer to hold inter-Korean military talks about ceasing hostile activities along the border, as it tested missiles at an unprecedented pace.

Rather than encouraging USA measures that "threaten the security and peace of the Korean peninsula", Seoul should instead respond to overtures from the North, and "stop nuclear war exercises with foreign forces", Kim said. We are waiting for North Korea's reply.

Still, the president also stressed the need to closely coordinate his country's future steps with its allies and other nations, saying any improvement in inter-Korean ties must work to help resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

North Korea tested intercontinental ballistic missiles and conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September in defiance of global warnings and sanctions, raising fears of a new conflict on the Korean peninsula.

"We've been preparing for the Olympics on the assumption that the North will eventually take part in the games", he said, adding that POCOG have in place protocols for accommodation and transport for the North's athletes.