Kim Jong Un ‘open to dialogue’ with Seoul, will only use nukes if threatened

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Vastavam web: Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul.After a year dominated by fiery rhetoric and escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, Kim used his televised New Year’s Day speech to declare North Korea “a peace-loving and responsible nuclear power” and call for lower military tensions on the Korean peninsula and improved ties with the South.

“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. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,” Kim said.South Korea said it welcomed Kim’s offer to send a delegation to the Pyeongchang Games and hold talks with the South to discuss possible participation.“We hope the two Koreas will sit down and find a solution to lower tensions and establish peace on the Korean peninsula.”

Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee, said the organisation welcomed participation by the North Koreans.South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said North Korea’s participation will ensure safety of the Pyeongchang Olympics and proposed last month that Seoul and Washington postpone large military drills that the North denounces as a rehearsal for war until after the Games.But North Korea has so far snubbed his overtures for warmer ties, including an offer to hold inter-Korean military talks about ceasing hostile activities along the border, as it tested missiles at an unpredecented pace and lambasted joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.Rather than encouraging U.S. 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.