Irked by Moon's deterrence remark, Kim Jong Un's sister warns of 'destruction' of South Korean ties
- In a statement carried by North Korean state media, Kim Yo Jong said that Moon's remark was inappropriate, warning a “complete destruction” of ties with the South.
The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday criticised the speech of South Korean President Moon Jae-in in which he had termed Seoul's growing missile capabilities as a “sure deterrence" against provocations from Pyongyang. Moon was commenting on Seoul's defence capabilities after Seoul's first successful test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
"Enhancing our missile capability is exactly what's needed as deterrence against North Korea's provocation," Moon had said after the test.
In a statement carried by North Korean state media, Kim Yo Jong said that Moon's remark was inappropriate, warning a “complete destruction” of ties with the South. The test came hours after the South Korean and Japanese militaries reported Pyongyang firing two ballistic missiles into the sea.
The apparent display of military might by the two countries is expected to exacerbate tensions in the Korean Peninsula. Experts suggest that the arms race has accelerated under Moon's regime as he pushes for greater autonomy on foreign policy matters amid military developments in both North Korea and China.
"South Korea would face many political and legal obstacles to develop nuclear weapons, both internal and external," Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea expert at King's College London, told news agency Reuters.
"So it will develop all other capabilities to deter North Korea and show who the strongest Korea is," he added.
The negotiations to stop North Korea from nuclear tests and developing ballistic missiles have ended in a deadlock. While the US military said that the missile launches did not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or allies, they underlined the destabilising impact of the North's weapons programme.
Pyongyang has been violating UN Security Council resolutions despite facing global sanctions. A US state department spokesperson said that the missile launch posed a threat to Pyongyang's neighbours, but didn't mention South Korea's tests.
(With inputs from agencies)