Kim Jong Un's sister sends nuclear warning to South Korea

Kim Jong Un’s sister warns North Korea will use its nukes to ‘eliminate’ the South’s military if they carry out ‘pre-emptive strikes’ threat

  • Kim Yo Jong said the North’s nukes would eliminate the South, in an angry retort
  • Comments came in response to a statement given by the South’s defence chief
  • Suh Wook said the South could strike fast if the North decided to launch a missile
  • It comes as South Korean military intelligence suggested the North was gearing up for a new nuclear weapons test 
  • North Korea will use its nuclear weapons to ‘eliminate’ South Korea’s army in the event they launch a pre-emptive strike, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un said Tuesday.

    Kim Yo Jong’s warning, carried in state media, was her second angry retort in three days to comments made by South Korea’s defence chief Suh Wook last week. 

    Suh had said Friday that South Korea’s military had missiles with ‘the ability to accurately and quickly hit any target in North Korea when there are clear signs of North’s missile launch’.

    In response, Kim Yo Jong said it was a ‘very big mistake’ for ‘lunatic’ Suh to have discussed a pre-emptive strike against a nuclear power, according to the report in state media KCNA.

    The threats come amid a blitz of sanctions-breaking weapons tests in North Korea, which last month fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile at full range since 2017. 

    Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, has sent a nuclear warning to South Korea

    Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, has sent a nuclear warning to South Korea 

    This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what it says is a test-fire of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an undisclosed location in North Korea on March 24, 2022

    This photo distributed by the North Korean government shows what it says is a test-fire of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), at an undisclosed location in North Korea on March 24, 2022

    Kim Yo Jong's warning, carried in state media, was her second angry retort in three days to comments made by South Korea's defence chief Suh Wook last week (Kim Yo Jong pictured alongside brother Kim Jong Un)

    Kim Yo Jong’s warning, carried in state media, was her second angry retort in three days to comments made by South Korea’s defence chief Suh Wook last week (Kim Yo Jong pictured alongside brother Kim Jong Un)

    ‘In case South Korea opts for military confrontation with us, our nuclear combat force will have to inevitably carry out its duty,’ said Kim Yo Jong, who is a key policy advisor in Pyongyang.

    She said the ‘primary mission’ for her country’s nuclear forces was to act as a deterrent, but if an armed conflict were to break out, such weapons will be used for ‘eliminating the enemy’s armed forces at a strike’.

    As a result of this ‘dreadful attack’, South Korean forces will face a ‘miserable fate little short of total destruction and ruin’, she said.

    ‘We do not regard (them) as (a) match for our armed forces,’ she said, referring to South Korea’s military.

    Her latest comments follow an initial attack on Suh’s ‘reckless remarks’ Sunday, in which she warned the South should ‘discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster’, and come mere days after South Korean intelligence suggested the North was preparing to test-fire new nuclear weapons. 

    South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Sunday March 27 that the pariah state appeared to be hastily constructing a ‘shortcut’ to a tunnel at its nuclear test site in Punggye-ri in preparations for a seventh underground nuclear detonation.

    The increased activity around the nuclear site came just days after the North test-fired its latest ICBM, the Hwasong-17, which it says has the range to deliver a warhead anywhere in the United States.

    Protesters participate in a rally against the North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch on March 26, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea

    Protesters participate in a rally against the North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch on March 26, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea

    This file picture taken on March 24, 2022 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 25, 2022 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) walking near what state media report says was a new type inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) before its test launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea

    This file picture taken on March 24, 2022 and released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 25, 2022 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (C) walking near what state media report says was a new type inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) before its test launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea

    The latest information about North Korea’s nuclear test plans comes from South Korea’s military and intelligence authorities, who say they have detected signs the North is restoring an underground testing facility that was shuttered during negotiations in 2018.

    Work at the mountainous site in the country’s northwest appears to have taken a turn that suggests the restoration of access to Tunnel 3 is a high priority. 

    ‘(The North) abruptly stopped its initial construction work to restore the entrance to Tunnel 3, and it is digging up the side (of the tunnel),’ a source told Yonhap, requesting anonymity. 

    ‘In this way, it seems like it will be possible to restore (the testing facilities) in a month.’  

    The Arms Control Association estimates that North Korea currently has around 40 to 50 viable nuclear warheads. 

    North Korea had paused its long-range and nuclear tests when Kim Jong Un and then US president Donald Trump engaged in a high-profile bout of diplomacy that subsequently collapsed in 2019. Talks have since stalled.

    North Korea will this month mark the 110th anniversary of the birth of founder Kim Il Sung – the grandfather of current leader Kim.

    Typically, Pyongyang likes to mark key domestic anniversaries with military parades, major weapons tests or satellite launches.