North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said the Korean peninsula will be engulfed by ”massive nuclear disaster” if war breaks out there again, warning the US it will not be safe in the event of a conflict.
”If the war breaks out again in this land, it will bring about a massive nuclear disaster and the US will never be safe,” Kim said in his New Year message, broadcast on state television.
”We are faced with a dangerous situation in which a small, accidental military clash can lead to an all-out war.”
Mr Kim added he would not beg for peace and vowed to protect the impoverished but nuclear-armed North with strong self-defence measures against enemies.
The young leader also hailed the recent execution of his powerful uncle as a ”resolute action”, labelling Jang Song-thaek ”scum”.
”Our party took resolute action to remove … scum elements within the party last year,” Mr Kim said, accusing Mr Jang of trying to build his own power base within the ruling party.
”Our party’s timely, accurate decision to purge the anti-party, anti-revolutionary elements helped greatly cement solidarity within our party,” he said.
It was the first time Mr Kim had publicly criticised his disgraced uncle, who was executed on December 12 on charges including treason and corruption.
Mr Jang, 67, played a key role in cementing the leadership of the inexperienced Kim Jong-Un, who took power after the death of his father and long time ruler Kim Jong-il in December 2011.
But Mr Jang’s growing political power and influence drew resentment from his nephew, who is barely half of his age, analysts said.
Even as Mr Kim issued sharp words for the US, the North Korean leader called for better relations with South Korea.
”It is time to end abuse and slander that is only good for doing harm … We will try hard to improve North-South ties,” Mr Kim said, adding that ”dark clouds of nuclear war constantly hovered over the Korean peninsula”.
The two Koreas remain technically at war under a truce that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. The United States maintains 28,500 troops in South Korea in joint defence against the North.
State media reported on Tuesday that Mr Kim rode on a ski lift at the Masik ski resort, a widely publicised public project. The North expects up to 5000 skiers a day when it opens this year.
Mr Kim has been pushing for massive projects throughout the country that go beyond the ski resort, pleasure parks and apartment blocks reported by state media, largely with the financial aid of its sole main ally, China.
On Wednesday, he emphasised his eagerness to pursue more construction projects.
”This year, we should open up a new period of prosperity in construction. Construction is an important front line to set grounds for the strong nation and people’s happiness..