In his New Year message, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un urged his country to mass-produce nuclear warheads and missiles and warned the United States that the “nuclear button is always on my table”, AFP reported.

“This is not blackmail but reality,” Kim said, as he warned the United States that his country’s nuclear forces are now “completed”, The Guardian reported.

North Korea conducted a string of nuclear tests in 2017. It was condemned globally for conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test – which it claimed was a hydrogen bomb – in September. In December 2017, the United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea for its ballistic missile programmes.

In his defiant New Year message, Kim suggested he would continue to accelerate his weapons programme. “We achieved the goal of completing our state nuclear force in 2017,” Kim said in a speech broadcast on state TV. “We need to mass-produce nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles and accelerate their deployment.”

“We’ll see, we’ll see,” United States President Donald Trump told The Guardian from his New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, when asked about Kim’s claim of having a nuclear button on his desk.