New Year speech - level 3

New Year speech - level 3

08-01-2014 06:00

Just weeks after his powerful uncle was publicly executed, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made reference to him in a New Year speech.

Without mentioning anyone specifically by name, he said the state’s ruling party had become stronger after it was cleansed of “factional filth”.

In the address, which was broadcast on state television and appeared to have been pre-recorded, Kim also surprisingly called for improved relations with South Korea. However, he blamed the South for problems between the two countries and urged their leaders to come forward to improve ties.

North and South Korea remain technically at war under a truce that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. It was signed by the United States, China and North Korea. The US maintains nearly 30,000 troops in the South in joint defence against the North.

Elsewhere in North Korea, its citizens celebrated the New Year with a fireworks display. People offered flowers and paid their respects to statues of former leaders, a common practice in the secretive state.

Difficult words: factional (relating to a group which is a part of a political party), filth (disgusting thing), address (formal speech), urge (recommend something strongly), truce (agreement to stop fighting), troops (soldiers), secretive (having secrets).

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