The New Year's Speech

January 3, 2017

In Kim Jong Un's annual New Year's address, he re-emphasized themes from the May 2016 Workers' Party Congress, discussed military and economic policy, and referenced the widespread protests that have taken place in South Korea. In reviewing the North's missile and nuclear tests over the past year, Kim implied that the country would soon test launch an ICBM, a claim which has drawn the bulk of media attention to the speech.

We conducted the first H-bomb test, test-firing of various means of strike and nuclear warhead test successfully to cope with the imperialists' nuclear war threats, which were growing more wicked day by day, briskly developed state-of-the-art military hardware, and entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of intercontinental ballistic missile; we achieved other marvellous successes one after another for the consolidation of the defence capability. 

 In response to the claim, U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump tweeted that "it won't happen!". A ROK Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that Trump's tweet could "be construed as a clear warning to North Korea in response to Kim Jong-un’s indication of possible provocations, including a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), in his new year’s address."