Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un warned that the South Korean government and its “military gangsters” will face annihilation should it make any “dangerous attempt” like a pre-emptive strike, Pyongyang’s state media said on Thursday.
Kim issued the strongly worded, direct warning against the South’s conservative administration, coupled with criticism of the US, in his speech on Wednesday marking the 69th anniversary of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Pyongyang calls the anniversary “Victory Day”.
According to the state media report, Kim mentioned South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol by name three times in the address and branded its military as gangsters, citing its stated strategy to counter the North’s nuclear and missile threats through the reinforcement of the so-called three-pillar system, including the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike capabilities.
“Such a dangerous attempt would be punished immediately by powerful forces, and the Yoon Seok-yeol administration and his military would be wiped out,” he said, appearing in public for the first time in 19 days along with his wife Ri Sol-ju for the Pyongyang ceremony.
Referring to Yoon simply by name without the official title of president, Kim said Pyongyang clearly remembers all his “absurd remarks” and is also keeping track of the recent absurdities of the “South Korean military gangsters”.
He added the North will not tolerate their behaviour anymore and warned that they will pay the price if it goes on.
It marked Kim’s first formal response to the Yoon administration that replaced the liberal Moon Jae-in administration in May.
Kim also stressed that his regime is “fully prepared” for any military confrontation with the US, as he took issue with its joint military exercises with the South.
He repeatedly boasted of the North’s nuclear war deterrent and threatened to use it if necessary, although he gave no information to whether or when his secretive regime will carry out another nuclear test.
On Wednesday, Kim also visited the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery in Pyongyang to pay tribute to the fallen soldiers during the Korean War.