Nuclear button on my desk is 'much bigger' than yours: Trump warns North Korea’s Kim about the size of his arsenal

10:45 • 04.01.18



US President Donald Trump fired off a warning tweet to North Korea Tuesday night, taunting leader Kim Jong Un who said in his New Year speech that Americans should be aware he has a 'button' for nuclear weapons.


Trump warned the hermit country: "North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un just stated that the 'Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.' Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”


The threat came after an annual speech given by Kim, in which he cautioned: “The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table.”

Kim warned America that it can “never start a war against me and our country” and insisted his nukes are now a reality, not a threat. 


Despite the ongoing war of words, Pyongyang this morning revealed it will reopen a hotline with South Korea to discuss attending the Winter Olympics.


The hotline, which was cut by the North in 2016, is to be restored this morning after Seoul proposed high-level talks in response to an olive branch from the North's leader ahead of next month's Pyeongchang Games.

 

The dictator's overtures to the South marked a rare softening in tone, as tensions over its banned weapons programme have surged in recent months following a flurry of missile launches and its most powerful nuclear test yet. 


Meanwhile the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, warned North Korea on Tuesday against staging another missile test and said Washington would not take any talks between North and South Korea seriously if they did not do something to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.


Haley told reporters the United States was hearing reports that North Korea might be preparing to fire another missile.

“I hope that doesn't happen. But if it does, we must bring even tougher measures to bear against the North Korean regime,” Haley said.

A US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there were indications that could point towards a potential missile launch “sooner rather than later,” but cautioned that such signs had been seen in the past and no test had resulted.

North Korea announced it would reopen a long-closed border hotline with South Korea on Wednesday.


The North's unscheduled statement, read out on state television, came a day after Seoul proposed high-
level discussions amid a tense stand-off over North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes.

That followed Kim's New Year's address, in which he said he was open to speaking with Seoul and would consider sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics to be held just across the border in Pyeongchang in February. 


Kim gave the order to reopen the border hotline at the truce village of Panmunjom at 0630 GMT (1.30am ET) on Wednesday, said North Korean official Ri Son Gwon.

The hotline with the South was shut down by North Korea in February 2016 in retaliation against the closing of Kaesong, a border factory town that was jointly operated by the two Koreas.

"Detailed orders were given regarding setting up working measures with the South Korean government that should be taken up with a serious and sincere stance," said Ri, chairman of North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, which deals with issues relating to South Korea.

 

 





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