Huffpost UK uk

Kim Jong-Un Calls For End To Confrontation Between North And South Korea In New Year's Message

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made overtures to South Korea, warning that continuing conflict with the state will only lead to "war", in a rare New Year's Day statement.

The speech was the first of its kind since Kim's grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, addressed the nation in 1994.

Speaking less than a month after the country launched a long-range rocket carrying a satellite intended for orbit, in defiance of warnings from the UN and Washington, the North Korean leader said it was time to "remove confrontation" between the North and South.

kig jong un

Kim Jong-un offered an olive branch to South Korea in his New Year's statement

"An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south," he said.

"The past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war."

On Christmas Eve, North Korea accused its Southern neighbour, which has recently elected a new president, of engaging in "psychological warfare" via Christmas lights.

north korea

Fireworks explode over Kim Il Sung Square in celebration of the New Year

The tower of lights, situated in Kimpho City, South Korea, was illuminated on December 22 and will stay lit until January 2. It was erected "as requested by a religious organisation" and can evidently be seen from the North Korea border.

North Korean state media said it was "psychological warfare against the DPRK which can never be tolerated."

South Korea's new President Park Geun-hye spoken of the "grave" challenge from North Korea, but vowed to "open a new era" for the region earlier this month.

North Korea, under Kim Jong Un, has pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal unless Washington scraps what Pyongyang calls a hostile policy.