North Korea: We oppose war, but will retaliate with nukes if attacked
A response to South Korea's threats.
Kim Yo Jong - Kim Jong Un's sister - clarifies that North Korea opposes war but will use nuclear weapons if South Korea were to attack. Analysts contend that the statement may be looking at South Korea's incoming president, who is a conservative.
Yo Jong is a senior official in the government and its ruling party.
She explains that it was a "very big mistake" for Seoul's minister of defense to make recent remarks regarding attacks on the North, according to KCNA, a state news agency.
Suh Wook, the South Korean defense minister, said on Friday that the South's military has a variety of missiles with significantly improved range, accuracy and power. The missiles, according to him, have "the ability to accurately and quickly hit any target in North Korea."
Kim and another North Korean official issued statements on Sunday condemning the foreign minister's remarks, warning that North Korea will attack major targets if South Korea were to initiate any "dangerous military action" - such as a 'pre-emptive strike.'
Rachel Minyoung Lee, an analyst that works for the US-funded 38 North project, said "Yoon's 'preemptive strike' comment made the headlines a few months ago, and Pyongyang is seizing Suh’s remarks to make a point to the incoming South Korean administration."
Jong said that North Korea opposes war, as it would leave the peninsula in ruins, and that Pyongyang does not view South Korea as a prime enemy.
"But if south Korea, for any reason - whether or not it is blinded by misjudgment - opts for such military action as 'preemptive strike' touted by (Suh Wook), the situation will change," Kim added. "In that case, south Korea itself will become a target."
North Korea accuses South of 'reckless' remarks
The South Korean Defense Minister was blasted by North Korea on Sunday for his "reckless" remarks about Seoul's ability to strike Pyongyang, the latter 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.
"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.