ROK cautious on Kim's New Year adress

Updated: 2014-01-01 16:54


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ROK cautious on Kim's New Year adress

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony of awarding party and state commendations to the exemplary officials, captains and fishermen in fisheries of the Korean People's Army (KPA) at the conference hall of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in this undated photograph released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 27, 2013. [Photo/Agencies] 


SEOUL - Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), talked about his willingness to enhance ties with South Korea in his New Year's address, but Seoul's Unification Ministry took a cautious stance on the remarks due to Pyongyang's continued threat.

The Unification Ministry said in a press release that Kim mentioned the creation of atmosphere to improve inter-Korean relations while continuing denunciation against South Korea, noting that it will be necessary to closely watch whether Pyongyang's attitude change would happen going forward.

Kim said in a televised New Year address on Wednesday that the DPRK will "create atmosphere to ameliorate the relations between the DPRK and South Korea," urging the end of slandering each other.

The DPRK leader, however, warned that a massive nuclear disaster would be brought if an all-out war broke out on the Korean Peninsula, vowing to "smash any provocation" to guard the country's dignity.

Meanwhile, the ministry assessed that Kim's address appeared to place its policy emphasis on economic growth in 2014, noting that agriculture would be the focus in the DPRK's economic policy to improve livelihood of people.

The DPRK seems to focus on the construction sector as well this year, the ministry said, noting that no specific remarks on its nuclear weapons program were found in his New Year address.