After Seoul emphasized its alleged pre-emptive attack capabilities against the North, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, has warned South Korea with nuclear reprisal if provoked.
Kim Yo Jong described South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook’s recent statements regarding pre-emptive attacks as a “fantastic daydream” and the “hysteria of a lunatic” in a statement released by North Korea’s state media on Tuesday.
Moreover, Kim Yo Jong emphasized that while North Korea did not desire another war on the Korean peninsula, it would respond with nuclear weapons if the South chose pre-emptive strikes or other assaults, leaving the South’s military “just short of absolute annihilation and ruin.”
This one was her second outburst in three days in response to Suh’s statements.
She called the comments “reckless” on Sunday and advised the South to “discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster.”
Since Kim took power more than a decade ago, North Korea has frequently warned that if it is threatened by adversaries, it will use its nuclear weapons. It has also expedited the development of its military arsenal.
When then-US President Donald Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong Un for an unprecedented series of meetings, it temporarily halted long-range and nuclear testing.
The diplomatic endeavor failed in 2019, and negotiations on denuclearization have remained deadlocked since then.
Pyongyang has conducted a spate of missile tests this year, indicating that Kim is resorting to military brinkmanship in an attempt to wring concessions from the US.
Last month, the nation fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, prompting speculation that a nuclear missile may follow.
North Korea will commemorate the 110th birthday of founder Kim Il Sung, Kim’s grandfather, later this month.
Pyongyang is known for holding military parades, large-scale missile tests, and satellite launches to commemorate important domestic milestones.
Outgoing South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a dovish liberal with aspirations for inter-Korean peace, has suffered a huge defeat as a result of the heightened tensions on the peninsula.
Suh stated last week during a visit to the country’s strategic missile command that if the North planned to fire missiles against South Korea, South Korea has the capability and readiness to undertake precision attacks.
Although Seoul has long had a pre-emptive assault policy to deal with such threats, it was uncommon for a Moon administration official to address it openly.
Kim stated in her most recent declaration, “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.”
The administration of South Korea did not immediately reply to her remarks.
Following Kim’s previous statements on Sunday, Seoul offered a low-key reaction, urging Pyongyang to stop from further inflaming tensions and return to discussion.
In 2018, Moon met with Kim Jong Un three times and campaigned hard to help set up Kim’s first meeting with Trump in June of that year.
The diplomacy, however, came to a halt following the second Kim-Trump meeting in 2019, when the Americans turned down North Korea’s proposals for massive sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear weapons.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES