KIM Jong-un’s powerful sister has said North Korea will nuke the South if it violates “even an inch” of its territory.
The chilling threat from Kim Yo-jong comes as the secretive country has been ramping up its ballistic missile testing with nine launches so far this year.
Yo-jong is seen as her brother’s closest confidant and has been confirmed as his top official for relations with the South.
Her outburst was prompted by comments from South Korea’s defence minister which said the country now has significantly improved missiles.
These now have “the ability to accurately and quickly hit any target in North Korea” said Suh Wook.
“If the South Korean army were to injure even an inch of our land, they would face a catastrophe that we had never imagined before,” state media quotes Kim as saying.
“If a situation arises where South Korea chooses a military confrontation with us, it will inevitably force our nuclear warfare force to carry out its mission.
“This is not just a threat. This is a detailed explanation of our reaction to possible reckless military action by south Korea.”
Yo-jong, who’s a senior official in the government and ruling party, said Suh’s comments were a “very big mistake”.
She said Pyongyang opposes war, which would leave the peninsula in ruins, and does not view South Korea as its principal enemy.
“But if south Korea, for any reason – whether or not it is blinded by misjudgment – opts for such military action as ‘preemptive strike’ the situation will change,” Kim added.
“In that case, south Korea itself will become a target.”
Her latest comments come after she let rip at Suh at the weekend.
“The senseless and scum-like guy dare mention a ‘preemptive strike’ at a nuclear weapons state,” she said.
“South Korea may face a serious threat owing to the reckless remarks made by its defence minister.”
North Korea has test-fired a range of increasingly powerful missiles this year.
Officials in Seoul and Washington fear it may be preparing to resume testing nuclear weapons for the first time since 2017 amid stalled negotiations.
But North Korea’s weapons testing has not all been going to plan.
Kim Jong-un was accused of faking the launch of North Korea’s “biggest ever” nuclear missile after an earlier test rocket reportedly exploded.
The country released a Top Gun-inspired propaganda clip, claiming it had successfully test-fired a huge Hwasong-17 rocket it’s feared can carry nuclear warheads.
The overblown clip showed Kim strut his stuff in a leather jacket and sunglasses in front of the colossal weapon.
But South Korea’s military claims the test actually featured an older, smaller intercontinental ballistic missile.