Kim’s sister makes insulting threats against Seoul over sanctions

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday made insult-laden threats against South Korea for considering unilateral sanctions against North Korea, calling South Korea’s new president and his government “idiots” and “a running wild dog who gnawing on a bone given by the United States”

Kim Yo Jong’s statement came two days after South Korea’s foreign ministry said it was reviewing further unilateral sanctions against North Korea over the country’s latest barrage of missile tests. The ministry said it would also consider sanctions and crackdowns on North Korea’s alleged cyberattacks — a key new source of funding for its weapons program — if North Korea carries out a major provocation such as a nuclear test.

“I wonder what ‘sanctions’ the South Korean group, no more than a running wild dog gnawing on a bone given by the United States, is brazenly imposing on North Korea,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by state media. “What a spectacle!”

She called South Korea’s new conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol and his administration officials “idiots who continue to create the dangerous situation.” She added that South Korea “had not been our target” when Moon Jae-in – Yoon’s liberal predecessor who sought reconciliation with North Korea – was in power. It could be seen as a possible attempt to help promote anti-Yoon sentiments in South Korea.

“We warn the impertinent and stupid once again that the desperate sanctions and pressure by the US and its South Korean soldiers against (North Korea) will add fuel to the latter’s hostility and anger and will serve as a noose for them,” Kim Yo said Boy.

Kim Yo Jong’s official title is a deputy department director of the Central Committee of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party. But South Korea’s spy service believes that she is the second most powerful person in the North after her brother and oversees relations with South Korea and the United States.

Although it is not the first time Kim Yo Jong has used harsh invectives on South Korea, North Korea is still expected to escalate military tensions on the Korean Peninsula as she is in charge of relations with South Korea and has some influence over the North’s military, analyst said Cheong Seong-Chang at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea.

South Korea quickly fired back at Kim Yo Jong’s insults against Yoon, saying it is “very regrettable for her to condemn our head of state with crude, inferior words and show no basic forms of etiquette.” Seoul’s Unification Ministry said in a statement that it also strongly condemns what it called “her impure attempt to incite anti-government struggles and shake our system” in South Korea.

Last month, South Korea introduced its own sanctions against 15 North Korean individuals and 16 organizations suspected of involvement in illegal activities to finance North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs. It was Seoul’s first unilateral sanctions against North Korea in five years, but experts say they were largely symbolic because the two Koreas have few economic ties.

But observers say Seoul’s push to coordinate with the United States and others to crack down on the North’s alleged illicit cyber activities could anger North Korea and damage its funding of its weapons programs.

Earlier this year, a panel of UN experts said in a report that North Korea continues to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from financial institutions and cryptocurrency firms and exchanges, illicit money that is a key source of funding for its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea has been under 11 rounds of UN sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile tests since 2006. But the UN Security Council has failed to adopt new sanctions against North Korea over its run of banned ballistic missile launches this year, because China and Russia , two of the veto-wielding members of the council, have opposed them as they are individually locked in confrontations with the United States.

North Korea has repeatedly said the UN sanctions are evidence of US hostility towards North Korea, along with its regular military exercises with South Korea. US-led diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear program collapsed in early 2019 due to arguments over how much sanctions relief North Korea would be given in return for its limited denuclearization steps.

Kim Yo Jong warned on Tuesday that the US will face “a more fatal security crisis” as it pushes for UN condemnation of the North’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile test that demonstrated its potential to hit the entire US mainland In his statement on Tuesday, Kim said Yo Jong compared the US to “a barking dog gripped by fear”.

North Korea is notorious for its colorful, crude 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 prostitute, respectively,” while describing former President Donald Trump as “a mentally deranged American dotard.” In March 2021, when Moon was still in office, Kim Yo Jong called him “a parrot raised by America.”

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