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PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA—North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spoke publicly for the first time Sunday, just two days after a failed rocket launch, praising his father Kim Jong Il’s “military first” policy during celebrations marking the 100th birthday of the nation’s late founder.
He called for strengthening the country’s “military first” policy by placing the “first, second and third” priorities...He said his country had built a “mighty military” capable of both offence and defence in any type of modern warfare.
Kim Jong Un has since underlined the country’s “military first” policy with a budget that allocates a sizable chunk of funding to defence spending.
He said he is “heartbroken” that the rival Koreas have been divided for decades, and said North Korea “will co-operate with anyone” who truly wishes for reunification.
"I express my greetings to our compatriots in South Korea and across the world who dedicate themselves to reunification and the prosperity of the nations," he said reading from a script, in an address which lasted more than 20 minutes, as the crowds applauded throughout.