The light-grey suit and matching tie North Korea's Kim Jong Un donned for his New Year's address was likely carefully calculated to project a softer, more relaxed image to go with his surprise offer for talks with Seoul, analysts said on Tuesday.
All of inter-Korean communication channels have been severed since the previous South Korean government under impeached President Park Geun-hye decided unilaterally to close down the Kaesong Industrial Complex in response to the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.
Cho anticipated that the two Koreas would frankly discuss issues of mutual concern to improve inter-Korean relations as well as the issue on the DPRK's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in South Korea's eastern county of PyeongChang in February.
In this December 23, 2017, photo distributed on December 24, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un addresses a ruling party conference in Pyongyang. Analysts say Kim may be trying to drive a wedge between Seoul and its ally Washington as a way to ease worldwide isolation and sanctions against North Korea.
The governor did not immediately respond to a request by Reuters for comment.
"It's reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk", Kim said.
The president vowed to destroy North Korea if the country continued to threaten the US, speaking during his maiden speech at the United Nations earlier this year.
Retired Adm. Mike Mullen on Sunday warned the U.S.is closer to a nuclear war with North Korea than ever before.
Kim appeared to extend an olive branch to Seoul in his address to the nation today, saying the Olympics would "serve as a good chance to display our Korean people's grace toward the world and we sincerely hope the Games will be a success".
Kim called on North Korea to accelerate its production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles, CNN reported.
Kim also said he was open to dialogue with Seoul, prompting South Korea on Tuesday to propose high-level talks between the two countries on January 9 at the border truce village of Panmunjeom.
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