News / Asia

N. Korea's Kim Calls for More Weapons, End to Confrontation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers a New Year address in Pyongyang in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency, January 1, 2013.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers a New Year address in Pyongyang in this picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency, January 1, 2013.
VOA News
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has used a New Year speech to call for the development of more advanced weapons, as well as an "end to confrontation" on the Korean peninsula.

In the surprise address broadcast Tuesday on state television, Kim called on his country to hold fast "to the ideals of independence, peace and friendship."

"This year, the entire Korean nation should turn out in a nationwide patriotic struggle for reunification in unity so as to usher in a new phase in the reunification movement," he said. "An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south."

Kim, whose government provoked international condemnation by carrying out a successful long-range rocket launch in December, also called for the development of more "cutting edge arms and equipment."

The speech was the first televised New Year address by a North Korean leader in 19 years. During the leadership of Kim's late father, Kim Jong Il, the New Year message was delivered in the form of a state media editorial.

Kim's speech also called for an improvement in living standards in the impoverished communist country. He said bolstering farming would "provide the people with a better, more bountiful diet."

"Becoming an economic power is the most important task in our efforts to follow our great work of establishing a strong communist country," he said.

But he made no mention of his country's nuclear weapons program, which has landed in the country under devastating international sanctions.

Inter-Korean tensions were raised in December when North Korea launched a long-range rocket that successfully placed what Pyongyang said was a weather satellite into orbit.

The move was condemned by the United Nations Security Council as a violation of sanctions banning it from conducting long-range ballistic missile tests.

Following the launch, some analysts fear North Korea may be preparing a third nuclear test.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: avlisk from: USA
January 01, 2013 9:12 AM
Dear Mr. Kim. You have a wide-open possibility to bring peace and progress and prosperity to Korea and the world. Figure out how to do this without guns and bombs, and you will take your place in history alongside Jesus and Gandhi. Go for it, Mr. Kim, and I wish you all the best towards this end.


by: James from: Nebraska
January 01, 2013 7:01 AM
Kim Jong-Un plagiarising the National Rifle Association. Or perhaps he is already a member. They believe more weapons will lead to less confrontation too.


by: Georges from: Liverpool
January 01, 2013 6:30 AM
At last....maybe a sign for a better future in the region...if it works it would boost the regions economy and help all.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid