North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, published an inflammatory screed on Monday referring to South Korean officials as “idiots” and “maniacs” and warning that Pyongyang is willing to turn the Pacific Ocean into “our firing range.”
Kim Yo-jong’s statement, published in North Korean government propaganda outlets, follows multiple missile launches on Saturday and Monday, including the firing this weekend of a Hwasong-15 alleged intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). On Monday, North Korean media protested that South Korean and American forces had staged an exercise directly in response to the ICBM.
Kim Yong-un has elevated the importance of expanding communist North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons program in the past three months, ordering his Party officials to “exponentially” increase the number of nuclear warheads at Pyongyang’s disposal in his end-of-year remarks in December.
“Now that the south [sic] Korean puppet forces who designated the DPRK [North Korea] as their ‘principal army’ and openly trumpet about ‘preparations for war’ have assumed our undoubted enemy,” Kim Jong-un said at the time. “It highlights the importance and necessity of a mass-producing of tactical nuclear weapons and calls for an exponential increase of the country’s nuclear arsenal.”
Kim Jong-un organized a massive military parade in early February to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the armed forces of North Korea that included the display of what North Korea claims to be its most advanced ICBM, the Hwasong-17, which it debuted in a bizarre photo shoot featuring Kim’s tween daughter, Kim Ju-ae, late last year.
North Korean officials claim this weekend’s outburst was a protest to military exercises between America and South Korea, which continued into Saturday, apparently prompting Monday’s North Korean missile launch. The government of left-wing American President Joe Biden attempted to rally the United Nations on Monday to escalate sanctions in response to the missiles, but failed.
“As expected, the way the fools think and play in every occasion is incurring laughter of the world. In fact, we are now watching the south Korean idiots making a show of themselves as a spectacle rather than a response,” Kim Yo-jong’s outburst on Monday began. “And again, I feel an impulse to scoff at them. As I watched yesterday alone, their speculation, guess, freewheeling assessment and so on were very disgusting. I would like to make some cutting remarks about it.”
Kim Yo-jong insisted that North Korea had surprised both Seoul and Washington with Saturday’s ICBM launch and any expert claiming otherwise was lying. She also stated that North Korea now “possessed satisfactory technology and capability and, now will focus on increasing the quantity of their force.”
“They had better rack their brains to take measures to defend themselves, instead of doubting or worrying about other’s [sic] technology,” Kim advised America and South Korea.
“The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the U.S. forces’ action character,” she concluded. “We affirm once again that there is no change in our will to make the worst maniacs escalating the tensions pay the price for their action.”
North Korea’s most recent rocket launch occurred on Monday morning and featured what outside experts believe are short-range ballistic missiles. Rodong Sinmun. The official government newspaper of North Korea described the latest display as using “multiple launch rocket firepower sub-units of the KPA long-range artillery unit on the western front,” firing “two shells of 600 mm multiple rocket launchers towards the East Sea [Sea of Japan].”
Monday’s launches used less powerful artillery than Saturday’s however, which featured the Hwasong-15 missile. North Korean media described the ICBM launch as a “surprise” to its enemies. The missile, while allegedly having an extended range, fell into the East Sea without causing any damage. The launch, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) insisted, was proof that North Korea could rapidly execute “a fatal nuclear counterattack on the hostile forces.”
South Korea’s Unification Ministry responded immediately to the ICBM launch, condemning it as “deplorable,” according to the South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo.
“It is deplorable that [North Korea] forgets that its reckless nuclear and missile development is responsible for the deterioration of the current situation, and that it is employing sophistry to shift the blame onto Korea and the United States,” the Unification Ministry statement read. “We warn again that isolation from the international community will only intensify if the North Korean regime continues to provoke and threaten its people’s livelihoods and human rights in the face of severe food shortages.”
The launches triggered an attempt at the United Nations Security Council to organize a response to North Korea, which was easily thwarted by veto-wielding permanent members Russia and China. Chinese Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Dai Bing used the opportunity to condemn America for the North Korean missile launch.
“Since the beginning of this year, the U.S. and its allies have stepped up joint military activities around the peninsula targeting the DPRK [North Korea],” Dai said. “Such moves are highly provocative to the DPRK and aggravate a sense of insecurity.”
Russian envoy Dmitry Polyanskiy called sanctions a “dead-end and inhumane policy,” refusing to support any action to contain North Korea’s threats.
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