In response to South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook’s threat of a “preemptive strike” last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, released a statement yesterday saying the country is prepared to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
Kim Yo-jong’s statement, released by the North Korean news agency KCNA Watch, describes Suh’s threat as “a serious mistake” and a “very dangerous and sinister manifestation.”
On Friday, while visiting South Korea’s strategic missile command, Suh mentioned that South Korea was capable of launching precision strikes on North Korea if it were to attack with missiles. Kim Yo-jong, a powerful senior official in the North’s ruling Worker’s Party, then responded on Sunday, blasting Suh as a “senseless and scum-like guy.”
The statement clarified that North Korea has no intention of starting a war and does not view South Korea as an “opponent.” However, Kim Yo-jong warned that if South Korea follows through with “possible reckless military action” against North Korea, then the South Korean army will “suffer [a] tragic lot of extermination.”
“In other words, the South Korean army will not be a target of our attack unless it takes any military action against our state. If the armies of both sides fight each other, the whole of the Korean nation will suffer disasters more horrible than it suffered half a century ago, apart from who wins and who loses in the war or battle,” Kim Yo-jong said in the statement.
Kim added that South Korea can avoid a nuclear disaster as long as they do not provoke North Korea.
“If South Korea does not provoke us and harbour a preposterous daydream but thinks about how to avoid the shells we fired, possibly not of course, it will be able to escape the disaster mentioned above,” Kim Yo-jong said. “”Preemptive strike” on a nuclear state is a wild dream. We definitely clarify once again that we won’t fire any single shot at South Korea as we do not regard it as the opponent of our armed forces.”
The statement describes North Korea and South Korea as countries of “the same nation” that should not attack one another and expresses hope that concerns of safety and security can be resolved.
“It is not because we compare the military strength of South Korea with us, a nuclear state, but because both are the same nation that must not fight. I hope an abnormal disorder worrying about safety without any ground would recover as soon as possible,” the statement said.