A new year, a new start and many of us are striving to improve ourselves; whether this means becoming less argumentative or making sure to donate to charity.
Unsurprisingly, supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has chosen a decidedly different tact.
Rather than pledging to take up pottery or ring his grandma up on the regular, Kim has stuck with his long-standing interest in terrifying the world with his nuclear ambitions.
Kim Jong-un is trending on New Years Eve…this can't be good, can it???
— ?Pass the Fletchy on the Left Hand Side ? (@Darth_Pingu) January 1, 2018
Addressing the people of North Korea in a speech broadcast through state-run Korean Central Television (KCTV), Kim kicked things off on a comparatively positive note, with a surprising gesture of apparent goodwill to South Korea:
North and South must work together to alleviate the tensions and work together as a people of the same heritage to find peace and stability,
The dictator dropped major hints about potentially sending athletes over to compete in next month’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The chairman even suggested he would send over a delegation to the games and said he may be up for talking over the details with his Seoul counterparts.
Before you start thinking Kim might have had a visit from three ghosts over the festive period, his speech soon took a characteristically dark turn…
Whether you think Kim Jong-Un’s New Year address is calming or alarming depends a lot on which 280 characters from it you see without the rest of the context. pic.twitter.com/b08EXwPubX
— Kelsey D. Atherton (@AthertonKD) January 1, 2018
As you are undoubtedly aware, Kim and US President Donald Trump aren’t exactly on sleepover party terms.
Their Twitter duals alone have been one of the more worrying aspects of what was – let’s face it – a deeply concerning year – it’s clear Kim wasn’t about to let Donald have the final word.
As translated by CNN, Kim fired the following grim New Year’s greeting to the people of America:
The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office.
They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.
No matter how much America wants to attack us with their military might and nuclear power, they know that now we possess such great nuclear power and therefore they will not dare.
He also bragged about how North Korea’s greatest accomplishment of 2017 was the ‘historic accomplishment of completing our nuclear capabilities.’
I hope he has careful cleaning staff.
— ShushYerself (@ShushYerself) January 1, 2018
As speeches go, it doesn’t exactly have the inspirational qualities of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream.
To be honest, the sight of the hipster-haired despot spewing yet more hate and fear doesn’t exactly fill me with great hopes for a peaceful 2018.
However, you can make up your own mind by watching the following footage:
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According to the Express, The Liberty Korea Party – the main opposition party in South Korea – have expressed distaste for this sinister address, with spokesperson Chang Je-won stating:
Kim would not hesitate to hold the whole globe hostage with its nuclear threats, while at the same time speaking of peace through inter-Korean talks and wishing the best for the Pyeongchang games.
It is a shallow charm offensive. President Moon Jae-in must stop begging Pyongyang for talks and face the truth.
— Vogelvrije Huisarts (@VogelvrijeHArts) January 1, 2018
Happy New Year, I guess…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications. When not Lad-ing about, she enjoys cooking, reading and trying not to fall over in Yoga.