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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un’s Sister Says South Korea’s Defense Minister is a “Scum-Like Guy”



North Korea's Kim Jong Un's Sister Calls South Korea's Defense Minister a “Scum-Like Guy”

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s sister has called South Korea’s defense minister a “scum-like guy” for making remarks about preemptive strikes on the North.

Kim Yo Jong’s remarks come amid heightened tensions over North Korea’s weapons tests this year. Including its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch in more than four years.

According to some experts, her statement may signal that North Korea will conduct more significant weapons tests in the near future.

North Korea’s March 24 ICBM test, which broke a four-year moratorium on large-scale weapons tests, was an embarrassment for Moon Jae-in, a liberal politician who has been striving to achieve greater reconciliation between the two countries and find a peaceful way out of the nuclear crisis.

During a visit to South Korea’s strategic missile command, Defense Minister Suh Wook said South Korea has the capability and readiness to attack North Korea with precision strikes. This is if it detects it intends to fire missiles at South Korea.

Seoul has long employed this preemptive attack strategy against North Korea’s proliferation of missiles and nuclear weapons. However, it was unusual for an official under the Moon administration to make public such discussions.

The statement carried by North Korea’s state media

Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s sister, issued blistering rhetoric directed at Suh and threats toward Seoul on Sunday.

“The senseless and scum-like guy dares mention a ‘preemptive strike’ at a nuclear weapons state,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by North Korea’s state media. The reckless remarks made by South Korea’s defense minister may pose a serious threat to the country.

“South Korea should discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster,” she said.

Kim Yo Jong, a senior official in the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, is in charge of relations with Seoul and Washington. South Korea’s spy service says she is the North’s No. 2 official behind her brother.

Pak Jong Chon, a secretary in the Workers’ Party’s central committee, separately warned that “any slight misjudgment and ill statement rattling the other party under the present situation” may trigger “a dangerous conflict and a full-blown war.”

Pak said North Korea will “mercilessly direct military force into destroying major targets in Seoul and the South Korean army” if South Korea preemptively attacks North Korea.

North Korea turned a colder shoulder on Moon

Relations between the Koreas briefly flourished in 2018 after North Korea abruptly reached out to South Korea and the United States and expressed its willingness to put its nuclear program on the bargaining table.

At the time, Kim Yo Jong visited South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and conveyed her brother’s invitation for Moon to visit the North.

Kim Jong Un and Moon eventually met three times in 2018.

But North Korea turned a colder shoulder on Moon and cut off ties with South Korea after its broader nuclear diplomacy with the United States collapsed in 2019 due to disputes over U.S.-led economic sanctions on the North.

“Kim Yo Jong’s remarks foreshadow another significant military test,” said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul. “Similar to how Moscow and Beijing try to gaslight the world that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is somehow the fault of NATO, Pyongyang will blame its nuclear and missile advancements on the U.S.-South Korea alliance.”

Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea said that the back-to-back North Korean statements indicate that it will take hardline steps toward South Korea. He said that Pyongyang is sensitive to Seoul’s preemptive attack capability because it lacks military assets and the capability to detect South Korean strikes in advance.

Moon’s single five-year term ends in May

But Cheong worried that Seoul’s public comments on preemptive strikes would result in strengthening the voices of hardline officials in Pyongyang and raising tensions between the Koreas.

Moon’s single five-year term ends in May when he will be replaced by conservative Yoon Suk Yeol, who openly discussed the preemptive attack strategy on North Korea during his campaign. His liberal rivals criticized him for unnecessarily provoking North Korea, but Yoon said he would pursue a principled approach to Pyongyang.

The United States has urged North Korea to return to talks without preconditions, but the North has rejected such an overture saying the U.S. must first drop its hostility toward it. Kim Jong Un has repeatedly vowed to expand his nuclear arsenal as a diplomatic stalemate with Washington continues.

Some experts say the North’s recent missile tests were meant to perfect its weapons technology, boost its leverage in future negotiations with the U.S. and secure stronger internal loyalty. They say North Korea could soon conduct another ICBM launch, a launch of a satellite-carrying rocket, or a test of a nuclear device in the coming weeks.

Source: The Associated Press

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