Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has warned that a deal between the United States and South Korea to strengthen nuclear deterrence against Pyongyang could only pose “a huge serious threat”.
• Read also: Biden and Yoon warn Pyongyang against any nuclear attack
Washington and Seoul warned North Korea on Wednesday against any nuclear strike that would result in “the end” of the regime in Pyongyang during the South Korean president’s state visit to the United States.
North Korea is convinced of the need to “further perfect” its nuclear deterrence program, replied the very powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Yo Jong, according to remarks reported by North Korean news agency KCNA on Saturday.
Kim Yo Jung said, “The more the enemy continues to conduct nuclear exercises, the more they will deploy nuclear weapons near the Korean Peninsula, and the more we exercise our right to self-defense.”
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and his US counterpart Joe Biden on Wednesday adopted a “Washington Declaration” that significantly strengthens their cooperation on defense matters, including nuclear.
Among the measures set out under the deal is the grounding of a nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine in South Korea for the first time in four decades.
The agreement “will only contribute to a greater threat to peace and security in Northeast Asia and the world, and is therefore an action that cannot be welcomed in any way”, Kim Yo Jong continued.
North Korea has faced years of international sanctions for continuing to develop its nuclear and missile programs, and has shown no sign of being ready to give up its arsenal, which it says could be used against any attempt to topple the regime. Sees it as insurance against.
Pyongyang has conducted a record series of launches this year, including the test of its first solid-fuel ballistic missile, a significant technological breakthrough for Kim Jong-un’s armed forces.