Kim Jong-un’s sister threatens military action against S. Korea on 20th summit anniversary

Jun 15, 2020, 07:35 am

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Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un/ Source: Yonhap News

AsiaToday reporter Lee Jang-won 

Seoul marked the 20th anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration, a result of the first-ever inter-Korean summit that pledged increased dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas, amid the latest threat of military action from Pyongyang. The South Korean government stressed that it is maintaing a staunch readiness posture to respond to all situations involving North Korea, calling on the North to comply with the past inter-Korean military pact. 

North Korea is expected to continue pressing South Korea and the United States by linking the anti-North Korea leaflet sending issues with “fruitless” summit diplomacy over the past two years. Experts say that North Korea is recently making tough remarks against South Korea and the United States to divert attention away from internal turmoil brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and its current economic situation. 

Pyongyang seems to be pressing both Seoul and Washington to achieve practical economic benefits while its negotiation partner Donald Trump’s reelection prospects for November look uncertain. Experts believe that North Korea is demanding more aggressive efforts from the Moon Jae-in government to ease sanctions against the North and to promote economic cooperation between the two Koreas. In addition, they say the North is enhancing the presence of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong in order to consolidate her position in the communist nation through external activities.

On Saturday, Kim Yo-jong, first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, warned that Pyongyang would “break with” South Korea and signaled military action against Seoul. North Korea made public her Saturday statement to its own citizens on Sunday. The main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, carried the full statement and claimed the North’s actions against the South were justified. 

“Before long, a tragic scene of the useless South-North joint liaison office completely collapsed would be seen,” she said. “I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with the enemy to decisively carry out the next action,” she said in a statement, hinting the complete abolition of the joint liaison office and military action against the South. 

Hours after Kim’s strongly worded statement, South Korea held an emergency security meeting on Sunday morning. Chung Eui-yong, director of the presidential National Security Office, reviewed the North Korean threats and the current security situation as well as the South’s response, with the participation of the foreign, unification and defense ministries and other officials.

Through the unification and defense ministries’ statement, the government repeatedly said that it is taking current situations seriously. However, North Korea’s intensifying threats despite a series of announcement by South Korea to take action against leaflet campaigners is putting the government into deeper trouble. 

Experts say the North’s recent threats are not just its traditional bluffing. Concerns are rising that the North Korean military would carry out Kim Yo-jong’s orders in any way. If the North makes a provocation in the military demarcation line (MDL), the South Korean government is expected to face a serious challenge as it strongly expressed its willingness to resume inter-Korean cooperation projects this year.

#Kim Yo-jong #North Korea #threat #South Korea #June 15 Joint Declaration 
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