"The entire mainland of the United States is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office".
The venues for the Games lie just 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the tense border with the North and the build-up to the event has been overshadowed by tensions running high over the North's escalating nuclear and missile tests.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held out a rare olive branch to the country's southern neighbor Monday, offering talks over sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month. "The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence and justice, weathering all tempests on this planet", the report continued, referring to North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"This year we should focus on mass producing nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles for operational deployment", Kim added.
Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions on North Korea in response to Pyongyang's November 29 ballistic missile test, seeking to further strangle its energy supplies and tighten restrictions on smuggling and the use of North Korean workers overseas.
As 2018 beckons, the question now is whether the North will conduct more tests until it can confidently deploy its new long-range missile, and whether it will detonate a nuclear weapon over the Pacific to demonstrate once and for all its capabilities.
"When it comes to North-South relations, we should lower the military tensions on the Korean Peninsula to create a peaceful environment", Kim said.
"North Korea's participation in the Winter Games will be a good opportunity to show unity of the people and we wish the Games will be a success", Kim said. "Officials from the two Koreas may urgently meet to discuss the possibility", he said.
South Korean president Moon Jae-In last month proposed delaying Seoul's annual joint military exercises with the United States until after the Games to ease the situation.
Despite increased global sanctions imposed over the weapons programme, North Korea made progress in areas like fabrics, shoes and tractors, Kim said.
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A U.S. 7th Air Force official said the top-of-the-line F-22s are being joined by Air Force and Marine Corps F-35s in the largest concentration of fifth-generation fighter jets ever in South Korea.
Revere said Kim Jong Un's speech contained the strongest defense of North Korea's status as a permanently nuclear-armed country he had seen.
"We hope to sit together (with the North) as concerned parties to find a solution to enhance stability on the peninsula while engaging with the worldwide community in resolving the nuclear issue", the office said.
Kim's 1 January speeches have previously set the direction for tensions on the Korean peninsula.
In his New Year's address, Kim again denounced the exercises.
In early December, the USA carried out another round of military exercises with South Korea, involving the largest concentration of fifth-generation F-22s and F-35s fighter jets ever assembled in South Korea.
"We welcome it", a statement said.
This, Kim said, was "irreversible with any force", making it impossible for the United States to start a war against North Korea. "The chances of the North coming to the Olympics now seem to be more than 80 per cent".
Observers said Washington must open talks with the North to defuse tensions - but that remains a challenge.