North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offers olive branch to South in rare address

NBC News

SEOUL, South Korea — 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 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.

But North Korea has offered olive branches before and Kim’s speech does not necessarily signify a change in tack from a country that vilifies the United States and U.S. ally South Korea at every chance it gets.

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.

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