North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: Nuclear button is always on my desk

Catherine Neilan
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Happy Nu-clear (Source: Getty)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has kicked off 2018 with a new warning to Donald Trump: Pyongyang's nuclear weapons are now capable of reaching "the entire" United States, and the rogue state is willing to use them if necessary.

During a televised New Year's Day speech, Kim gave an unequivocal message to his Western antagonist.

"The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat," he said.

"This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment," Kim said.

"These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened."

The two sides have butted heads throughout 2017, with rhetoric reaching apocalyptic levels. Pyongyang has tested a number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September in defiance of international warnings and sanctions.

However, Kim also showed he was willing to engage with the rest of the world, using his address to say he was considering whether to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics Games, which will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February.

"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people and we wish the Games will be a success. Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility," Kim said.

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