North Korea accuses South of 'reckless' remarks
North Korea condemns South Korea's "reckless" retaliation remarks following the North's weapons tests.
The South Korean Defense Minister was blasted by North Korea on Sunday for his "reckless" remarks about Seoul's ability to strike Pyongyang, warning of retaliation after conducting a record number of weapons tests this year.
The South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook reported on Friday that his army has missiles with "the ability to accurately and quickly hit any target in North Korea."
The comments were condemned by Kim Yo Jong, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and key policy advisor.
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"His reckless and intemperate rhetoric about the 'preemptive strike' has further worsened the inter-Korean relations and the military tension on the Korean Peninsula," she said according to the official North Korean news agency KCNA.
"South Korea may face a serious threat owing to the reckless remarks made by its Defense Minister... South Korea should discipline itself if it wants to stave off disaster," Kim added.
In another statement on Sunday, Pak Jong Chon, the secretary of North Korea's ruling party central committee, also warned the South of any military action against Pyongyang.
"Our army will mercilessly direct all its military force into destroying major targets in Seoul," he said. Pak did not specify which targets.
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North Korea resumed its sanctions-breaking weapons tests this year, and last month, it fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile at the full range since 2017.
Kim and former US President Donald Trump paused long-range and nuclear tests after engaging in a high-profile bout of diplomacy that subsequently collapsed in 2019. Talks have therefore stalled.
Moreover, tensions between both sides are also set to escalate following South Korea's President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol assumption of power.
During Yoon's campaign period, he had threatened to strike the North "if necessary", vowing to teach Kim "some manners".