North Korean leader calls for better relations with South in 2014

2014-01-01 09:22

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first reference to the execution of his powerful uncle in a New Year's address, saying the reclusive state's ruling party had become stronger after it was purged of "factional filth."

And as he called for better relations with South Korea, he warned that another war on the Korean peninsula would cause a massive nuclear disaster that would hit the United States.

Kim, the third generation of his family to rule North Korea, did not refer by name to his uncle Jang Song Thaek, who was executed last month in a rare public purge for crimes againstthe ruling Workers' Party and harming national interest.

"Our party took a firm measure to get rid of factional filth that permeated the party," Kim said in a broadcast on state televsion that appeared to be pre-recorded, without showing if he was speaking to an audience.

"Our unity strengthened hundredfold and party and revolutionary lines became more solid by purging the anti-party and anti-revolutionary faction," Kim said.

After the sudden death of Kim's father in December 2011, Jang acted as regent to his young nephew as Kim establishedhimself in power. With the purge, Kim may have chosen to remove the only man who may have posed any real threat to him.

Kim's call for improved ties with the South lacked any outline of steps to end the acrimony, and followed a threat from Pyongyang last month to strike Seoul without notice.

"It is time to end abuse and slander that is only good for doing harm ... We will try hard to improve North-South ties," Kim said, adding that "dark clouds of nuclear war constantly hovered over the Korean peninsula".

"If there ever is once again war on this land, it will bring about an enormous nuclear disaster and the United States will not be spared from it," he said.

The two Koreas remain technically at war under a truce that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. The United States maintains 28 500 troops in South Korea in joint defence against the North.

State media reported yesterday that Kim rode on a ski lift at the Masik ski resort, a widely publicised public project where the North expects up to 5 000 skiers a day when it opens this year.

Kim has been pushing for massive projects throughout the country that go beyond the ski resort, pleasure parks and apartment blocks reported by state media, largely with the financial aid of its sole main ally China.

Today, he emphasised his eagerness to pursue more construction projects.

"This year, we should open up a new period of prosperity in construction. Construction is an important frontline to set grounds for the strong nation and people's happiness," he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.