Kim Yo-jong: Kim Jong-un’s sister calls South Korean minister ‘senseless and scum-like guy’
Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un , has called South Korea ’s defence minister a “scum-like guy” and warned of the country facing “a serious threat” for talking about pre-emptive strikes.
Ms Kim’s comments come during heightened tension between the two nations over the North’s spate of weapons tests this year, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch in more than four years.
On Friday, South Korea’s defense minister Suh Wook said the country has the ability and readiness to launch precision strikes on North Korea if it detects any missiles fired at South Korea.
Seoul has long maintained such a pre-emptive military strategy to cope with North Korea’s growing missile and nuclear threats, but it was still highly unusual for a senior Seoul official under the outgoing administration of president Moon Jae-in to publicly discuss it.
“The senseless and scum-like guy dare[s] mention a ‘pre-emptive strike’ at a nuclear weapons state,” Ms Kim said on Sunday, responding to Mr Suh’s statement.
“South Korea may face a serious threat owing to the reckless remarks made by its defence minister. [The country] should discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster.”
According to South Korea’s spy service, Ms Kim is in charge of relations with Seoul and Washington and is the North’s number two official behind her brother.
Pak Jong-chon, a secretary in the Workers’ Party’s central committee, on Sunday 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” between the two nations.
Mr Pak added that North Korea will “mercilessly direct military force into destroying major targets in Seoul and the South Korean army” if the South pre-emptively attacks North Korea.
Additional reporting from agencies