S. Korea dismisses Kim Jong Un's peace gesture
SEOU (AFP) - South Korea on Friday dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's conciliatory words in his New Year message as an empty gesture, urging Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear programmes to show it is committed to better relations.
In his speech on Wednesday, Mr Kim hailed the execution last month of his once-powerful uncle Jang Song Thaek and accused the United States and South Korea of manoeuvring for a nuclear war.
But he also called for a "favourable climate" to improve relations with the South, saying it was time for the two Koreas to stop doing "anything detrimental to national unity and reconciliation".
In its first official response, the South Korean government said it was sceptical about the intentions of Mr Kim, who has ruled the nuclear-armed North since the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December 2011.