Kim Jong Un pays homage to North Korea's former leaders on New Year

North Korean leader addressing his country on New Year. Photograph:( Reuters )

Reuters Pyongyang, North Korea Jan 02, 2017, 12.53 AM (IST)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid his respects to the reclusive country`s former leaders on New Year`s day, state media reported.

The state-run television KRT showed a video of Kim accompanied by his wife Ri Sol Ju along with other leaders of the party, state and army visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the embalmed bodies of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il are preserved.

KRT said the visit was made on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, KRT broadcast Kim`s New Year speech, saying the isolated nuclear-capable country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea tested ballistic missiles at an unprecedented rate during 2016, although some experts have said it is years away from developing an ICBM fitted with a nuclear warhead capable of reaching the United States.

The country has been under UN sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions were tightened last month after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test on September 9. 

(Reuters)