N. Korea Vows to Improve Ties With South

Which of North Korea’s new year’s resolutions is not like the others: Work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, improve ties with South Korea, and refine its spirit with “prompt, merciless, and annihilatory action.” North Korea’s new year’s message, carried in the official state press, comes at a time when tensions are still high over its artillery barrage of a South Korean border island in November; plus, nuclear-disarmament talks have stalled due to the North’s refusal to fulfill past nuclear commitments. While saying that the tensions between North and South should be defused quickly, the North’s holiday message also warned that they “will not in the least pardon those who impair our absolute dignity and socialist system even a bit and violate our airspace, territory, and waters even an inch, but discharge at any cost the historic mission it has assumed on behalf of the country and the nation with matchless arms.”