North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has vowed Pyongyang would not hesitate to “put an end” to South Korea if attacked, state media said yesterday, as relations between the neighbors hit new lows.
The nuclear-armed North this year declared South Korea its “principal enemy,” closed agencies dedicated to reunification and outreach, and threatened war over “even 0.001 millimeters” of territorial infringement.
“If the enemy dared to use force against our country, we will make a bold decision that will change history and will not hesitate to mobilize all the superpowers to put an end to them,” Kim said, according to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
“Peace is not something to beg for or exchange through negotiations,” he added.
Kim made the comments during a defense ministry event marking the anniversary of the founding of the nation’s military, KCNA said.
His statement echoed earlier remarks in which Kim said his military should “annihilate” the enemy if provoked, referring to South Korea and its ally the US, state media reported last month.
Images released by KCNA yesterday showed Kim holding hands with his young daughter, Ju Ae, who some analysts say is being groomed as the next leader of the isolated country. The images also showed the pair receiving enthusiastic cheers from uniformed military soldiers, as well as posing for photographs with army commanders.
Kim said Pyongyang’s recent decision to define Seoul as its principal enemy was a righteous measure.
“The decision to define [South] Korean puppets as the number one hostile nation and unchanging enemy” and to “occupy and put down their territory in the event of a contingency is for the sake of our country’s eternal security”, he said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol last week said that the “irrational” North Korean government was likely to carry out multiple provocations, including cyberattacks and drone intrusions, ahead of the South’s April election.
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