Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, slammed the United States and South Korea for their joint military exercises on Tuesday, vowing to build up Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal in response.
In a statement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim Yo-Jong said: “They (exercises) are the most vivid expression of the US hostile policy, designed to stifle our state by force, and an unwelcoming act of self-destruction for which a dear price should be paid as they threaten the safety of our people and further imperil the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
“We will put more spur to further increasing the deterrent of absolute capacity to cope with the ever-growing military threats from the US, i.e. the national defence capabilities and powerful pre-emptive strike for rapidly countering any military actions against us.”
She also demanded the withdrawal of US forces stationed in South Korea, according to the Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.
“For peace to settle on the peninsula, it is imperative for the US to withdraw its aggression troops and war hardware deployed in South Korea.”
“As long as the US forces stay in South Korea, the root cause for the periodic aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula will never vanish,” she added.
North Korea has long viewed military drills in Seoul and Washington as a dress rehearsal for an invasion of Pyongyang.
According to the allies, the exercises are defensive in nature.
South Korea responded to Kim Yo-remarks Jong’s by saying that it will closely monitor North Korea’s future actions and be prepared for any possibilities.
But the US declines to “comment on planned or conducted training readiness”, Lt. Col. Martin Meiners told Yonhap News Agency.