Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

"Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?"

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Seleka calls for partition

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

REPORTERS

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Read more

  • UN human rights chief blasts Israel-Gaza ‘war crimes’

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Remains of Flight MH17 victims arrive in the Netherlands

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Young riders raise French hopes for Tour de France

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

Asia-pacific

North Korean leader calls for end to “confrontation” with South

Video by Andrew SALMON

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-01-01

In the first televised New Year address by a North Korean leader in 19 years, Kim Jong-un called for the end of “confrontation between the north and the south” of the Korean peninsula. The two Koreas never signed a treaty to end the 1950-1953 war.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for an end to confrontation between the two Koreas, technically still at war in the absence of a peace treaty to end their 1950-53 conflict, in a surprise New Year speech broadcast on state media.

The address by Kim, who took over power in the reclusive state after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011, appeared to take the place of the policy-setting New Year editorial published in leading state newspapers.

Impoverished North Korea raised tensions in the region by launching a long-range rocket in December that it said was aimed at putting a scientific satellite in orbit, drawing international condemnation.

North Korea, which considers North and South as one country, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is banned from testing missile or nuclear technology under U.N. sanctions imposed after its 2006 and 2009 nuclear weapons tests.

“An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south,” Kim said in the address that appeared to be pre-recorded and was made at an undisclosed location.

“The past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war.”

The New Year address was the first in 19 years by a North Korean leader after the death of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. Kim Jong-il rarely spoke in public and disclosed his national policy agenda in editorials in state newspapers.

The two Koreas have seen tensions rise to the highest level in decades after the North bombed a Southern island in 2010 killing two civilians and two soldiers.

The sinking of a South Korean navy ship earlier that year was blamed on the North but Pyongyang has denied it and accused Seoul of waging a smear campaign against its leadership.

Last month, South Korea elected as president Park Geun-hye, a conservative daughter of assassinated military ruler Park Chung-hee whom Kim Il-sung had tried to kill at the height of their Cold War confrontation.

Park has vowed to pursue engagement with the North and called for dialogue to build confidence but has demanded that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions, something it is unlikely to do.

Conspicuously absent from Kim’s speech was any mention of the nuclear arms programme.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-01-01

  • NORTH KOREA

    Pregnancy rumours swirl at Kim Jong-il's memorial

    Read more

  • NORTH KOREA

    North Korea launches long-range rocket

    Read more

  • SOUTH KOREA

    North Korean soldier ‘kills officers, defects to South’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)