Kim Jong-il’s sister issues insulting threat to Seoul over sanctions

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an insult-filled threat on Thursday against a South Korea considering imposing no-literal sanctions on the North, calling the South’s new president and his government “idiots.” ’ and “a wild dog gnaws a bone given by America”

Kim’s abusive remarks came two days after South Korea’s foreign ministry said it was considering additional unilateral sanctions against North Korea over a series of recent missile tests. The ministry said it would also consider sanctioning and cracking down on North Korea’s so-called cyberattacks – a new major source of funding for its weapons program – if North Korea undertakes a major provocation such as a nuclear test.

“I want to know what ‘sanctions’ the South Korean bloc has imposed on North Korea, nothing more than a wild dog gnawing on a bone given by the United States and imposing it rudely on North Korea,” Kim Yo-jeong said in a statement released by state media. “What a spectacle scene!”

She called South Korea’s new conservative president, Yoon Suk-yeol, and his administration officials “idiots who continue to create a dangerous situation.” South Korea “was not our target” when Moon Jae-in – a liberal predecessor who sought reconciliation with North Korea – was in power, she added. This could be seen as a possible attempt to fuel anti-Yoon sentiment in South Korea.

“We warn the disrespectful and stupid once again that the desperate sanctions and pressure on (North Korea) by the United States and its South Korean lackeys will intensify the latter’s hostility and anger and will be their noose,” Kim said.

Kim Yo Jong’s official title is vice-minister of the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party. But South Korea’s spy service considers her the second most powerful figure in North Korea after her brother, in charge of relations with South Korea and the United States.

Although this is not the first time Kim Yo Jong has used crude insults against South Korea, given that she is in charge of relations with South Korea and wields some influence over the North Korean military, North Korea is still expected to further escalate military tensions on the Korean peninsula, said the Sejong Institute Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang.

Last month, South Korea imposed sanctions on 15 North Korean individuals and 16 organizations suspected of involvement in illegal activities to finance North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. It is the first time in five years that Seoul has imposed unilateral sanctions on North Korea, but experts say it is a mostly symbolic step because there is little financial exchange between the two countries.

But observers say Seoul’s coordinated efforts with the U.S. and other countries to crack down on North Korea’s allegedly illegal cyber activity could anger the North and damage funding for its weapons programme. Earlier this year, a United Nations panel of experts said in a report that North Korea continues to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from financial institutions, cryptocurrency firms and exchanges, which are an important source of funding for its nuclear and missile programs.

Since 2006, North Korea has been subject to 11 rounds of United Nations sanctions for nuclear and missile tests. But the U.N. Security Council has failed to adopt new sanctions over North Korea’s banned ballistic missile launches this year as China and Russia, two members of the council with veto power, opposed them as they were each locked in a confrontation with the United States.

North Korea has repeatedly said U.N. sanctions are evidence of U.S. hostility toward North Korea and regular military exercises with South Korea. U.S.-led diplomacy over North Korea’s nuclear program collapsed in early 2019 amid a dispute over how much sanctions relief North Korea would receive for its limited denuclearization steps.

Kim Yo-jong warned on Tuesday that the United States would face a “more deadly security crisis” as it pushed the United Nations to condemn North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test, which indicated it had the potential to strike all parts of the continental United States. In her statement on Tuesday, Kim Yoo Jung likened the United States to “a dog barking out of fear.”

North Korea is notorious for its colorful and brutal personal attacks on South Korean and American leaders. It called former South Korean presidents Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye a “rat” and a “whore” respectively, while describing President Donald Trump as a “unhinged American dork”. When Moon Jae-in was still in office in March 2021, Kim Yo Jong called him “the parrot raised by the United States.”

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