South Korea offers talks with defiant North ahead of Olympics

South Korea offers talks with defiant North ahead of Olympics

Dressed in a western-style grey suit and tie, Kim added, however, that the North's nuclear arsenal played a purely deterrent role.

"It's reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk", Kim said.

"We define this "sanctions resolution" rigged up by the USA and its followers as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of our republic, as an act of war violating peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region, and categorically reject the 'resolution, '" the statement released by the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) read. Referring to the Olympics, he said later: "We're willing to take necessary steps including sending our delegation, and for this, the authorities from the North and South could urgently meet".

In an annual New Year's day speech, Kim said that "we sincerely hope the games will be successful".

Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's November 29 ballistic missile test, seeking to further strangle its energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has repeatedly called for North Korea to join the Olympic games.

South Korea has seized and inspected a Panama-flagged ship suspected of selling oil to North Korea at sea in violation of United Nations sanctions, maritime authorities said, according to Yonhap News Agency reported.

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus off in tears with knee injury
That came in a dramatic finish to the match, which saw Ederson save Luka Milivojevic's late penalty to keep City unbeaten in the league this season.

While this is the first time Kim Jong-un has alluded to having a physical means of launching his country's nuclear weapons in his office - most likely to predetermined targets in the Northeast Asia and the continental United States - the fundamental nuclear command-and-control message from North Korea remains unchanged since 2013.

The South Korean president requested the ministries of unification and sports to swiftly create measures to help North Korea participate in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

The president vowed to destroy North Korea if the country continued to threaten the US, speaking during his maiden speech at the United Nations earlier this year.

North Korea hasn't immediately reacted.

Kim called on North Korea to accelerate its production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, CNN reported.

South Korean president Moon Jae-In last month proposed delaying Seoul's annual joint military exercises with the USA until after the Games to ease the situation.

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