In her first known official statement, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un levelled diatribes and insults against South Korea for raising concern over her country’s latest live-fire exercises.
Kim Yo Jong is in charge of propaganda affairs for North Korea and has frequently appeared at her brother’s major public events, including summits with President Donald Trump and other regional leaders.
But her statement carried by state media was the first of its kind and indicated a further elevation of her political status.
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In the statement issued on Tuesday night, she criticised South Korea’s presidential Blue House for expressing strong concerns over the North’s firing drills and urging it to stop acts that do not help reduce military animosities.
“As far as I know, the South side is also fond of joint military exercises and it is preoccupied with all the disgusting acts like purchasing ultra-modern military hardware,” Kim Yo Jong said.
“They meant they need to get militarily prepared but we should be discouraged from military exercises. Such a gangster-like assertion can never be expected from those with normal way of thinking.”
Describing the Blue House as “a mere child” and “a burnt child dreading fire,” she questioned how its words and actions could be “so perfectly foolish in detail.”
Kim Yo Jong did not name liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in, whom she has met several times.
However, she said: “The South side’s response is so regretful and disappointing but it is somewhat fortunate that it was not a direct statement of the president.”
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South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said on Wednesday it had no specific comment on Kim Yo Jong’s statement.
But spokesman Yoh Sang-key said the two Koreas should maintain mutual respect while working towards establishing lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Earlier on Tuesday, state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire rocket artillery exercise in an apparent reference to the two suspected short-range ballistic missile launches detected by South Korea’s military on Monday.