Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attacked the United States and South Korea in a statement published by the official Rodong Sinmun daily on Tuesday (March 16). This post comes as the new secretaries of Defense and Foreign Relations of the United States began a visit to Tokyo and Seoul.
Last week, the United States and South Korea began joint military exercises. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Kim Yo Jong told Rodong Sinmun that she offered “advice to the new US administration that is trying to spread a smell of gunpowder through our country” before adding “if you want to sleep peacefully for the next four years (duration of a US presidential term), you would do well not to do anything that will make you lose sleep.”
Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang have drastically deteriorated
This statement is the first explicit reference to the new US President Joe Biden of North Korea, who has nuclear weapons. During Donald Trump’s tenure, there had been exchanges of insults and war threats with Kim Jong Un, before continuing a summit-marked diplomatic honeymoon between the two leaders. this had not led to progress towards denuclearization of North Korea, subject to multiple international sanctions due to its nuclear program.
The negotiations were carried out with the intermediary of Moon Jae-indu, the president of South Korea. But relations between Seoul and Pyongyang have deteriorated dramatically since the failure of the Kim-Trump summit in Hanoi in February 2019. Since then, some 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea to protect it from a possible North Korean attack. Seoul and Washington, united by a military alliance, began computer-simulated military exercises last week. North Korea condemns this training, which it describes as preparation for an invasion.