Conflicts & War

Pyongyang slams Seoul defense minister’s comments, threatens consequences

Seoul, Apr 3 (EFE).- North Korea slammed recent comments Sunday by the South Korean defense minister about his country’s capabilities to attack its neighbor and urged Seoul to be more restrained “if it wants to stave off disaster.”

In a statement released by state news agency KCNA, North Korea leader Kim Jong-un’s sister and senior official of the ruling party, Kim Yo-jong, said Minister Suh Wook’s ”reckless and intemperate rhetoric about the ‘preemptive strike’ has further worsened the inter-Korean relations and the military tension on the Korean Peninsula.”

In his remarks on Friday, Suh highlighted the South Korean military’s possession of a variety of missiles capable of “accurately and swiftly striking any targets in North Korea” if it detects a missile launch.

Suh “dare mentioned the ‘preemptive strike’ at a nuclear weapons state, in his senseless bluster which will never be beneficial to South Korea, either,” Kim added.

She said that Pyongyang will “reconsider a lot of things” concerning Seoul, which, she warned, “may face a serious threat owing to the reckless remarks” made by the minister.

“South Korea should discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster,” Kim added.

In another statement also published on Sunday, North Korean military official and secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pak Jong-chon also criticized Suh’s remarks.

“If the South Korean army engages in a dangerous military action as a preemptive strike against the DPRK (North Korea’s official name), being guided by misjudgment, our army will mercilessly direct all its military force into destroying major targets in Seoul and the South Korean army,” he said.

“Now the Korean peninsula is technically at war. Any slight misjudgment and ill statement rattling the other party under the present situation where acute military tension persists may become a spark triggering off a dangerous conflict and a full-blown war,” Pak added.

The neighbors have been technically at war for over six decades, as the armistice that ended hostilities in the Korean War in 1953 was never replaced with a formal peace treaty.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated this year amid repeated missile tests by the North, a record 12 so far.

South Korea has occasionally responded to the North’s launches with its own missile tests. EFE


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