Kim Jong Un vows to strengthen nuclear capabilities in New Year address

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-01-01 18:34

Kim Jong Un vows to strengthen nuclear capabilities in New Year address

Democratic People's Republic of Korea's leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance to the skiing training of the mountain infantry battalion under KPA Unit 1045 in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on November 26, 2016. [Photo by KCNA/via Reuters]

PYONGYANG - Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un said Sunday in a televised New Year address that the DPRK would continue to strengthen national defense including nuclear capabilities as long as nuclear threat from the United States exists.

"Unless the United States and its vassal forces stop nuclear threat and blackmail and unless they stop the war exercises which they stage right at our noses under the pretext of annual exercises, the DPRK would keep increasing the military capabilities for self-defense and preemptive striking capacity with nuclear force as a pivot," he said.

Kim emphasized the need to foil challenges posed by anti-reunification forces at home and abroad who are against the national desire for reunification.

Kim also called for taking active measures to improve north-south relations and defuse military conflict and the danger of a war between the two Koreans, appealing to the whole nation that a wide avenue should be paved toward independent reunification through joint efforts.

"All the Koreans in the north and the south and abroad should solidarize and get united on the principle of subordinating everything to national reunification, the cause common to the nation and activate the reunification movement on a nationwide scale," Kim added.

On economic growth, he stressed that in 2017, efforts should be concentrated on implementing the five-year strategy for national economic development with a focus on self-reliance to elevate the country's economy to a higher level.

Electricity, metal and chemical industrial fields should take the lead, he said.

Kim also reviewed the achievements made in the year 2016, calling it "a year of revolutionary and auspicious event and great turn." He added that the DPRK has emerged as "a nuclear and military power in the East."

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