'US Mainland in Our Nuclear Strike Range' - Kim Jong

North Korean missiles will 'certainly' fly over Canada, a Japanese expert says

North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, has warned the United States his country's nuclear forces are now "completed", adding that the nuclear launch button was always within easy reach, The Guardian writes.

"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".

Early Sunday retired U.S. Navy admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, said America and North Korea are closer to conflict "than we've ever been". In his address, he also called for warming relations with South Korea.

"The improvement of relations between North and South Korea can not go separately with resolving North Korea's nuclear program, so the foreign ministry should coordinate closely with allies and the global community regarding this", Moon said in opening remarks at a cabinet meeting.

South Korea's presidential office welcomed Kim's olive branch, saying that Seoul is open to talks with the North "at any time, in any place and in any format".

Cho told a media conference he expects the two Koreas to focus on bringing a North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which begin next month, should the talks be held on January 9.

But Kim said in his New Year speech that nuclear powers will not be used unless the North is provoked.

The war games usually begin in February or March.

Talks could provide a temporary thaw in strained inter-Korean ties, but conservative critics worry that they may only earn the North time to flawless its nuclear weapons.

North Korea has come under heavy sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council as it has accelerated efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

In an annual New Year's day speech, Kim said that "we sincerely hope the games will be successful". If the Olympics become a vehicle for rapprochement between the Koreas, and especially if that entails a pause in our war games, Kim may be trying to get the tail to wag the dog, forcing Washington to follow Seoul's lead into détente.

As well as Kim's overtures to his Southern neighbors, he also announced plans to start mass-producing nuclear warheads as he delivered a televised New Year's Day speech.

If Kim can make it through 2018 without being annihilated in a war with the US or somehow forced to relinquish his WMDs, North Korea will likely become a full-fledged nuclear weapons state sometime this year, with all the deterrent capability and geopolitical clout that entails.

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