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Photo: API/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday called the United States his country's "biggest enemy" and pushed to continue expanding North Korea's arsenal, according to text of his remarks at the Workers' Party Congress meeting published by state media.

Why it matters: Kim's comments come days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

  • "...Biden has promised 'principled diplomacy' with North Korea, implying a break with President Donald Trump's high-stakes summits with Kim Jong-un," NPR writes.
  • Kim said he did not intend to use nuclear weapons unless "hostile forces" planned to attack his country, per Al Jazeera. He did note that North Korea should expand its nuclear arsenal and improve its long-range missile capabilities, and called his country a “responsible nuclear weapons owner.”

The big picture: Kim mentioned the only way the U.S. and North Korea could reach peaceful relations would be if the U.S. withdrew its North Korea hostile policy.

What he's saying: "Our foreign political activities ought to be focused and directed on subduing and defeating the United States, our biggest enemy, and the main obstacle to our revolutionary developments," Kim said.

  • "No matter who is in power in the U.S., the true nature of the U.S. and its fundamental policies towards North Korea never change," he continued.
  • "The reality is that we need to tirelessly strengthen our national defense capabilities in order to deter military threats from the U.S. and achieve peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

Scoop: North Equity to acquire Domino Media

Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage

North Equity, a venture equity firm that acquires and invests in media brands, is acquiring Domino Media Group, the home magazine and digital company launched by Condé Nast in 2005. The deal is expected to close this week. 

Why it matters: It's the latest example of a niche media brand being gobbled up and consolidated by a private equity firm. Private equity firms are typically less interested in editorial, and more interested in ways to better monetize a brand's value.

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

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