NEWS: South-Korea
North Korea threathens South of nuclear retaliation.

The sis­ter of North Kore­an leader Kim Jong-un says Pyongyang would retal­i­ate with nuclear strikes if South Korea launched a pre-emp­tive attack.

Kim Yo-jong, a senior offi­cial, has issued two state­ments respond­ing to remarks from South Kore­an officials.

South Kore­an Defence Min­is­ter Suh Wook had said the South was able to strike the North’s mis­sile launch points — spark­ing the furi­ous reaction.

North Korea has test­ed sev­er­al mis­siles this year, height­en­ing tensions.

On Tues­day, Kim Yo-jong released a sec­ond state­ment in state media say­ing any South Kore­an aggres­sion would war­rant an “inevitable” nuclear response from North Korea.

“In case South Korea opts for mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion with us, our nuclear com­bat force will have to inevitably car­ry out its duty,” she said accord­ing to state media reports.

Ms Kim had already issued a state­ment on Sun­day direct­ly attack­ing Mr Suh, whom she called “a scum-like guy” for sug­gest­ing an attack.

She added that North Korea did not want a war and would not fire first, but would respond if attacked.

She also dis­missed South Kore­a’s asser­tions of its abil­i­ty to reach North Kore­a’s mis­sile bases as a “wild dream”.

Ana­lysts said Ms Kim’s wide­ly-pub­lished remarks, her first pub­lic com­ments in over six months, were large­ly aimed at reas­sur­ing a domes­tic audi­ence in North Korea.

Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea ana­lyst from The Sejong Insti­tute, said Ms Kim’s rhetoric aimed to “enhance the inter­nal uni­ty with­in the North” while there was uncer­tain­ty and con­cern about the future of rela­tions with a new South Kore­an government.

South Kore­a’s Pres­i­dent Elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who is due to start his term in May, is seen as a more hawk­ish leader who may take a more aggres­sive line against the North.

Dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign he hint­ed to vot­ers of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a pre-emp­tive strike against the North, in the wake of a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the num­ber of North Kore­an mis­sile tests this year.

Only a fort­night ago, North Korea claimed it had suc­cess­ful­ly test­ed its biggest inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic missile.

Although the authen­tic­i­ty of the launch was ques­tioned by South Korea, the impli­ca­tion of the test was tak­en seri­ous­ly, as it would end a self-imposed mora­to­ri­um on long-range test­ing in place since 2017.

The UN pro­hibits North Korea from bal­lis­tic and nuclear weapons tests, but the coun­try has defied the ban prompt­ing sev­er­al nations to impose sanctions.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.