North Korean leader’s sister denounces South’s border drills

Seoul resumed live-fire artillery exercises after suspending the inter-Korean tension reduction pact.
By Taejun Kang for RFA
2024.07.08
Taipei, Taiwan
North Korean leader’s sister denounces South’s border drills Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam March 2, 2019.
Jorge Silva/Pool/Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister on Monday denounced South Korea’s resumption of live-fire artillery drills near the border as “suicidal hysteria” and warned of possible military action.

The South has conducted live-fire artillery drills near the land and sea borders in recent weeks after its suspension last month of an inter-Korean military tension reduction agreement. The 2018 pact included setting up a land buffer zone, where artillery drills and regiment-level field maneuvers were suspended, and maritime buffer zones, where artillery firing and naval drills were banned.


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“Clear to everyone is the riskiness of the above-said reckless live ammunition firing drills of the ROK army coming nearer to the border of the DPRK,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement carried by the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The ROK, or the Republic of Korea, is South Korea’s official name, while the DPRK refers to that of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Calling South Korea’s live-fire drills “suicidal hysteria,” Kim warned of the possibility of military action against any act that North Korea regards as provocative.

“In case it is judged according to our criteria that they violated the sovereignty of the DPRK and committed an act tantamount to a declaration of war, our armed forces will immediately carry out its mission and duty assigned by the DPRK Constitution.”

Kim added that the South has been destabilizing regional security, saying that President Yoon Suk Yeol was attempting an “emergency escape” from a domestic political crisis by raising tensions on the peninsula with provocative acts in border areas.

In response, South Korea’s defense ministry spokesman said the drills were “a normal activity” within South Korea’s jurisdiction, adding that they would be carried out according to plan.

Edited by Mike Firn.

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