Kim Jong Un's Sister Threatens to Go Nuclear

Kim Yo Jong threatens South Korea for the 2nd time this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 4, 2022 12:37 AM CDT
Updated Apr 5, 2022 12:35 AM CDT
S. Korea Talks 'Preemptive Strike' as North Threatens 'Disaster'
Visitors wearing face masks walk near the wire fences decorated with ribbons with messages wishing for the reunification of the two Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Sunday, April 3, 2022.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Updated: For the second time this week, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un berated South Korea for touting its supposed preemptive strike capabilities against the North, saying her country’s nuclear forces would annihilate the South’s conventional forces if provoked, the AP reports. In a statement carried 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.” She 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.” Our original story from Monday follows:

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the South Korean defense minister a "scum-like guy" for talking about preemptive strikes on the North, warning Sunday that the South may face "a serious threat." Kim Yo Jong's statement came amid heightened tensions between the rival Koreas over the North's spate of weapons tests this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile launch in more than four years, per the AP. Some experts say her statement could signal that North Korea will conduct more significant weapons tests soon and take a hardline stance on South Korea.

During a visit to the country's strategic missile command on Friday, South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook said that 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. Seoul has long maintained such a preemptive attack strategy to cope with North Korea's growing missile and nuclear threats, but it was highly unusual for a senior Seoul official under the Moon administration to publicly discuss it. On Sunday, Kim's sister—a senior official in the North’s ruling Workers' Party, who is in charge of relations with Seoul and Washington, and is thought to be the No. 2 official behind her brother—issued blistering rhetoric directed at Suh and threats toward Seoul.

"The senseless and scum-like guy dare mention a 'preemptive strike' at a nuclear weapons state," Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by state media. "South Korea may face a serious threat owing to the reckless remarks made by its defense minister." "South Korea should discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster," she said. 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 added 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. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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