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North Korea is not happy with a comment made by a senior South Korean official and warned the country could face a “serious threat”, an official said.
Kim Yo Jong, the authoritarian sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, pushed back against South Korea’s defense minister, who said his country could launch a preemptive strike on its northern neighbors, calling it “a kind of scum”.
“This insane, scum-like guy dares to mention a ‘pre-emptive strike’ on a nuclear-weapon state,” Kim told state media.
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She also warned that South Korea could face retaliation as South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook boasted on Friday that his country could launch precision strikes on North Korea if his country thought there was an imminent missile strike.
“South Korea could face a serious threat due to the reckless remarks of its defense minister,” she added. “South Korea should discipline itself if it wants to avoid disaster.”
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Wook’s comment in question came amid missile test launches from North Korea and is particularly unusual as South Korean President Moon Jae-in pushes for reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.
Pak Jong Chon, a North Korean government official, also warned that “any slight misjudgment and misstatement rattling the other side in the current situation” could lead to “dangerous conflict and all-out war”.
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North Korea “will ruthlessly direct military force to destroy major targets in Seoul and the South Korean military” if a preemptive strike occurs, Pak said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.