- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister Kim Yo Jong yet again warned South Korea.
- She said that North Korea may give a nuclear response to South if provoked.
- Kim Yo Jong called South Korea Defense Minister Suh Wook a “scum-like guy”.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister Kim Yo Jong yet again warned South Korea, threatening to use her country's nuclear weaponry if provoked. She warned that her country’s nuclear forces would annihilate the South’s conventional forces.
In a statement on Tuesday by North Korea’s state media, Kim Yo Jong called South Korea Defense Minister Suh Wook’s recent comments about preemptive strikes a “fantastic daydream” and the “hysteria of a lunatic.” reported news agency AP.
Jong stressed that North Korea doesn’t want another war on the Korean Peninsula but warned it would retaliate with its nuclear forces if the South opts for preemptive strikes or other attacks, which would leave the South’s military “little short of total destruction and ruin.”
“In case (South Korea) opts for military confrontation with us, our nuclear combat force will have to inevitably carry out its duty … a dreadful attack will be launched and the (South Korean) army will have to face a miserable fate little short of total destruction and ruin,” Kim said in her latest statement.
North Korea has repeatedly stated it would preemptively use its nuclear weapons when threatened by rivals as it accelerated its development of nuclear bombs and missiles, which Kim Jong Un sees as his strongest guarantee of survival.
In another statement directed toward Minister of National Defense of South Korea, Suh Wook, Kim Yo Jong called him a “scum-like guy” and warned that the South may face a “serious threat” because of his comments.
Her statements come amid tensions over North Korea’s accelerating weapons tests this year, including its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017 on March 24, as her brother revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at pressuring Washington to accept the North as a nuclear power and remove crippling sanctions.
North Korea may try to get Biden admin's response
Some experts say the North may up the ante in the coming months, possibly test-flying missiles over Japan or resuming nuclear explosive tests, as it tries to get a response from the Biden administration, which is distracted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an intensifying rivalry with China. The renewed tensions have been a major setback for outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a dovish liberal who had staked his presidential term on his ambitions for inter-Korean rapprochement.
During a visit to the country’s strategic missile command last week, Suh said South Korea has the ability and readiness to launch precision strikes on North Korea if it detects the North intends to fire missiles at South Korea.
South Korea’s government didn’t immediately respond to Kim Yo Jong's comments. Seoul had issued a low-key response following Kim’s earlier comments on Sunday, urging Pyongyang to refrain from further raising tensions and return to dialogue.
North Korea angry over US-South Korea military cooperation
North Korea has severed all inter-Korean cooperation while expressing anger over U.S.-South Korea military exercises and Seoul’s inability to wrest concessions from Washington on its behalf. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to bolster his nuclear forces and later sped up weapons development despite limited resources and pandemic-related difficulties.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's term ends in May, when he will be replaced by conservative Yoon Suk Yeol, who could possibly take a harder line on Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.