Kim Jong Un opened 2018 by warning the US he had a nuclear button 'always on my desk'

Picture: Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un started 2018 with a threat for the US.

“The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim said during a televised New Year’s Day speech.

“This is reality, not a threat.”

Kim said North Korea this year would “focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment”.

“These weapons will be used only if our security is threatened.”

But he added that the path to any dialogue that improved ties to the South was open and lowering military tensions on the peninsula was an imperative.

As a sign of goodwill, Kim said North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea this year would be “a good opportunity to show unity of the people”, and he wished the Games would be a success.

“Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility,” he said.

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