Kim Jong-un Calls for End to Inter-Korean Strife

Kim Jong-un gives a New Years speech last year (left) and this year. /[North] Korean Central TV Kim Jong-un gives a New Year's speech last year (left) and this year. /[North] Korean Central TV

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a televised New Year's address on Wednesday called for an end to confrontation between the two Koreas, which are still technically at war since the 1953 armistice.

"We will make aggressive efforts to improve relations between the North and the South," Kim said. "It is time to end abuse and slander that is only good for doing harm."

Dressed in a sober gray Mao suit, Kim urged South Korea to improve inter-Korean ties as well.

The speech went on for 27 minutes, but Kim was only shown for about three minutes while the rest of his speech was accompanied by archive footage of the Workers Party headquarters and other landmarks.

The government response here was lukewarm, with one official saying Seoul needs to "monitor" if the North truly changes its behavior.

Meanwhile, the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily in a front-page article referred to Kim as the North's "fate and future" and vowed to follow him for "10 million years."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jan. 02, 2014 09:28 KST