Kim Calls for Korean Unity in Rare Public Address
North Korea gets first New Year broadcast from leader since 1994
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2013 4:53 AM CST
In this Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 image made from video, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks on a podium in Pyongyang, North Korea.    (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)

(Newser) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appears to share his father's fondness for rockets—but not his aversion to public speaking. Kim spoke to North Korea in a televised New Year's Day address, the first such broadcast in 19 years, the BBC reports. Kim Jong Il almost never addressed the public, and the last such New Year's broadcast in Pyongyang was from Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, in 1994.

In the address, Kim called for a "radical turnabout" that would transform North Korea into an "economic giant." He called for unity between North and South Korea, although he referred to agreements signed years ago that new South Korean leader Park Geun Hye may be reluctant to implement, the Washington Post reports. He stressed that military power remains a top national priority. "The military might of a country represents its national strength," he said. "Only when it builds up its military might in every way can it develop into a thriving country."

Next on Newser: World Welcomes 2013
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Kim Calls for Korean Unity In Rare Public Address is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 13 comments
Jan 2, 2013 3:33 PM CST
"Military Might" What a joke! China is the N Korean's protection. China would not let any country invade N Korea and if China invaded no other country would care. I doubt KJU can do anything without China's approval and China uses N Korea to stick it to us and every other country.
Jan 1, 2013 5:18 PM CST
"Unity"--at the point of a bayonet!
Jan 1, 2013 1:14 PM CST
I wonder what possesses world leaders to make such ridiculous fools of themselves to the rest of the world, especially those who already have their entire population in thrall, like N Korea. I mean, this is about as likely to happen as the entire world uniting under the banner of Cuba.