American Computer Games Have Kim Jong Un’s Little Sister Kim Yo Jong Unleashed Against ‘Nuclear War’
NOTNorth Korea has deployed its favorite weapon in a new campaign to intimidate the liberal South Korean president into stopping forthcoming virtual military exercises with the United States, and otherwise bow to the will of leader Kim Jong One.
The weapon of choice: Kim’s younger sister, Yo Jong. On Tuesday, she walked out with an outburst of rhetoric at the war games, which are played almost entirely on computers between the US and South Korean commands, calling them “pre-nuclear war exercises” beginning with “a preemptive attack on the DPRK “. the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
To show that she speaks directly on behalf of her brother, her statement, released in English by the Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang, ends with the unusual phrase: “I am publishing this article with permission. “
Kim Yo Jong, whose title is deputy director of the central committee department of the ruling Workers’ Party, chaired by her brother, attacked the war games just as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his aides spoke. of the magnitude and scope of the exercises, which open next Monday for ten days. The Americans and South Koreans, under their combined forces command, have already started “crisis management training” in preparation for the exercises.
In a fit of anger, North Korea did not respond on Tuesday to a North-South “hotline” that the North had re-established two weeks ago after cutting them off 13 months ago in retaliation for the dropping of leaflets. propaganda launched from the South by the North. Korean activists. Moon, who banned the dissemination of leaflets to appease the North and continue talks, saw the reopening of the hotline as a sign the North was ready to resume negotiations.
Appeals from South Korea’s unification and defense ministries “went unanswered,” according to Yonhap, the South Korean news agency, hours after the hotline and military channels functioned normally.
While Kim Jong Un is largely silent on war games, Yo Jong remains the scathing voice of North Korea’s demands for South Korea to refuse to join them and for the United States to withdraw its 28,500 troops from the US. South.
“The United States must first withdraw its aggressor forces and materiel from South Korea.“
– Kim yo jong
“They are the most intense expression of the hostile US policy towards the DPRK aimed at suffocating our state with force of arms,” she said in her latest statement. “They are an unwanted act of self-destruction that must be paid for without fail as they threaten the safety of the Korean people and further compromise the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
North Korea’s anger struck a chord with Moon and his aides, who hope to negotiate with the North for the first time since the failed February 2019 summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump in Hanoi. Trump interrupted the summit, following his first meeting with Kim in Singapore in June 2018, after failing to get him to agree to give up his nuclear program in exchange for an end to sanctions.
Moon & Co. have warned that the war games could provoke “provocations” from the North in the form of more missile testing, including the launch of a long-range missile capable of carrying a warhead to the United States. , or even a seventh underground nuclear power plant. test. North Korea last tested a nuclear device in September 2017 after Trump at the United Nations threatened to rain “fire and fury” on the North. Trump changed his tone next year in Singapore, where he said he and Kim had “fallen in love,” after which he sought to indulge himself by abruptly canceling the war games scheduled to be held two months later. .
Kim Yo Jong’s statement spoke of the worst fears that North Korea will come back to a hard line despite economic difficulties which his brother said could be the worst in the country since the “hard march” of the 1990s, during which no less than two million North Koreans have died. famine and disease.
“If peace is to be established on the Korean Peninsula, the United States must first withdraw its aggressor forces and materiel from South Korea,” she said, justifying the nuclear program that the The United States has long insisted that he give up.
“Only practical deterrence can ensure the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula,” she continued, promising to strengthen “our national defense capacity and our powerful pre-emptive attack capacity.”
The rhetoric has left South Korean officials and political leaders badly divided.
The director of the Southern National Intelligence Service, Park Jie-won, called for “flexibility”, meaning the possible cancellation of the war games that the South reluctantly accepted under intense pressure from the South. his own military leaders, and others in the Unification Ministry had made the same pleas. The Americans and South Koreans say such exercises are essential to the establishment of OPCON, a plan to place all forces under South Korean “operational control” rather than under the command of the American general in the United States. commands of the American forces in Korea and of the combined forces command.
“We must keep in mind that the Kim family regime’s political war strategy relies heavily on its blackmail diplomacy. The use of heightened tensions, threats and provocations to obtain political and economic concessions, ”said David Maxwell, former special forces colonel in South Korea. “It is this kind of controversy that makes the OPCON’s transition difficult and undermines confidence” in the South Koreans’ ability to assume command.
South Korean leaders, said Maxwell, now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, should not “sacrifice preparation over the mistaken belief” that “canceling, postponing or reducing readiness training will change the Kim’s behavior ”.
Appointed by Moon as director of the NIS last year after long seeking reconciliation with North Korea, Park Jie-won now faces embarrassment from his own agency accusing four activists of taking a bribe. – $ 20,000 in wine from North Korea for propaganda in the South against the Korean-American Alliance. The NIS alleges that the four men campaigned for Moon’s election in 2017 after his conservative predecessor, Park Geun-hye, was jailed for corruption and actively fought against the United States’ acquisition of it. ‘F-35 fighter jets.
The four are accused of violating South Korea’s National Security Law, enacted during the worst days of the North-South confrontation. The charges provide ammunition for conservatives who accuse Moon of bending to the will of the North Koreans in hopes of reviving North-South talks and leaving a legacy of reconciliation ahead of the next South Korean presidential election next year . Moon, under the Southern constitution, cannot run for a second five-year term.