World leaders issue New Year greetings | The Daily Star
03:48 PM, January 01, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:23 PM, January 01, 2018

Kim threatens while world leaders issue New Year greetings

As 2017 drew to the end, world leaders around the world offered New Year greetings to their respective countries and beyond. Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used the occasion to warn the United States that his country's nuclear capabilities are now complete and the nuclear launch button is always on his desk. 

Here is a selection of the wishes of some of the most important leaders around.

US President Donald Trump

President Trump capped 2017 on Sunday with a New Year’s Eve message addressed to his “friends, supporters, enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media.”

In a tweet, Trump extended wishes for a happy and healthy holiday, writing: “2018 will be a great year for America!”, reports AP.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un on annual New Year’s Day speech on Monday warned the United States that he has a “nuclear button” on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was “open to dialogue” with Seoul.

“We must mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and speed up their deployment,” said Kim in his annual address to the nation, reiterating his claims that North Korea had achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state, reports AFP. 

“(The North) can cope with any kind of nuclear threats from the US and has a strong nuclear deterrence that is able to prevent the US from playing with fire,” Kim said.

“The nuclear button is always on my table. The US must realise this is not blackmail but reality.”


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin wished his compatriots "changes for the better" in 2018 in his traditional televised New Year's address Sunday.

"Let the New Year bring changes for the better in the life of every person and every family," Putin told Russians in a speech aired by state television and reported by Russian agencies.

Residents of the country's most easternly region of Kamchatka will be the first to hear the speech that is shown a few minutes before midnight in each of Russia's eleven time zones.

The Russian leader addressed "special wishes" to "all of those who are working now, fulfilling their military or professional duty," agencies reported.

He also thanked Russians for "believing in themselves and in our country."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday extended greetings to the nation on the occasion of new year, Indian Express reports.

Wishing joy and prosperity for everyone, the PM took to Twitter to wish the people of India.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Merkel used her televised New Year's address on Sunday to call on German citizens to be respectful and listen to each other when discussing their political differences, AP reports.

"It has been a long time since the differences of opinion about this have been so stark," she said, adding: "Some have even spoken of a rift running through our society."

Noting that success and trust mark today's Germany as much as fear and doubt, Merkel said Germans must "strive for more consideration of others again." The chancellor said that consideration means "paying attention, truly listening, and showing understanding for others."

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May said 2018 would be a year of "renewed confidence and pride" for Britain as it confronts the challenges of negotiating Brexit, in her New Year message out Sunday, reports AFP.

"I believe 2018 can be a year of renewed confidence and pride in our country," the premier said.

"A year in which we continue to make good progress towards a successful Brexit deal, an economy that's fit for the future, and a stronger and fairer society for everyone.

"And whatever challenges we may face, I know we will overcome them by standing united as one proud union of nations and people."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

In a New Year’s statement released Sunday, Trudeau said the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 celebrated how people of different backgrounds, origins, cultures and faiths came together to make Canada the country it is at present.

He says his government made progress in 2017 on issues such as creating new opportunities for young people and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, but notes there is still a lot of work to do in 2018.

Trudeau says every Canadian should have a “real and fair” shot at success.

He looked forward to seeing what “we can accomplish together in 2018” in his Twitter post.

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