[Interview : Kim Jong-un, N. Korean Leader] "An important issue, in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving reunification is to remove confrontation between the North and the South. The past record of inter-Korean relations shows that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war."
Analysts say the young leader's remarks are an attempt to persuade South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye to steer away from the Lee Myung-bak administration's hard-line stance.
Kim's announcement was the first New Year's address released verbally by a North Korean leader in 19 years.
The nation also rang in the new year with a fireworks exhibition.