North Korean Leader and Sister Issue Nuclear Threats Against US and South Korea

Sat Dec 23 2023
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PYONYANG: North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, and his influential sister, Kim Yo Jong, have jointly issued nuclear threats against the United States and South Korea, declaring that Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal stands ready to retaliate against any perceived provocations.

The statements were reported by the North’s official media on Thursday, emphasizing the country’s assertive response strategy and the evolution of its nuclear doctrine.

Addressing soldiers involved in a recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch, Kim Jong Un praised the test as a “bold move” against the US and its main allies, whom he labeled as “the destroyer of peace and stability.” The North Korean leader warned of a potential nuclear attack if provoked by nuclear weapons from adversaries.

The recent missile test, involving the Hwasong-18 solid-fueled ICBM, reached a maximum altitude of approximately 6,500 kilometers (4,040 miles) and covered a distance of around 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) before hitting its target off the eastern coast. While the test was conducted at a high angle, it still presented a potential threat to the US, with the missile capable of reaching the US mainland if launched at a lower trajectory.

North Korea Criticizes US and South Korea

In an unusual move, Kim Yo Jong, the leader’s sister, sharply criticized the US and South Korea for their coordinated actions during a United Nations meeting on Monday. She accused the allies of neglecting provocations by the US and South Korea while focusing solely on condemning North Korea’s self-defense actions. Kim Yo Jong urged “hostile forces” to consider how North Korea would perceive and react to upcoming military plans by the US and South Korea.

The simultaneous threats from both Kim Jong Un and Kim Yo Jong are unusual, as such statements of criticism typically come from one of them, not both on the same day. The remarks coincide with trilateral joint air drills conducted by the US, South Korea, and Japan off the southeastern coast of the Korean peninsula, featuring the strategic US B-1B bomber plane. North Korea has consistently protested these joint military exercises, viewing them as a practice for invasion and a direct threat to its security.

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