Pyongyang threatens to take action against Seoul amid escalating tensions

Seoul, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- North Korea sent a threatening message to South Korea on Saturday warning that it will take action for what it described as betrayals by Seoul over denuclearization talks.

“I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean authorities. We will soon take a next action,” Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and newly appointed deputy director of the United Front Department, a powerful party organ, said in a statement to North’s Korean Central News Agency.

She added that she has given “instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action” but did not provide any further details.

“The right to take the next action against the enemy will be entrusted to the general staff of our army,” she added in the statement.

She said the army will take action to calm “our people’s resentment”.

“If the South Korean authorities now have the capability and courage to carry out at once the thing they have failed to do for the past two years, why are the north-south relations still in stalemate like now,” she continued.

Kim Yo-jong’s statement came days after the North Korean regime announced its decision to cut off lines of communication with South Korea in apparent response to anti-regime activists sending flyers north.

Relations between the two neighboring nations have been strained since a group Fighters for a Free North Korea and Keunsaem dispatched leaflets in hot air balloons and plastic bottles filled with rice.

Authorities in the North strongly denounced the shipment made on 31 May and later announced that it would cut telephone communication with the South and will return to treating it as an enemy.

The message to Seoul also came a day after Pyongyang said it would bolster its nuclear program as a deterrence in response to what it sees as unfulfilled promises by the United States after two years of unsuccessful negotiations on achieving denuclearization.

A further blow to the relationship were failed discussions at a summit in Hanoi in February 2019, in which Washington rejected a North Korean disarmament offer. EFE-EPA

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