N Korean leader shuns talks with South, threatens ‘annihilation’

Kim Jong Un’s hostile remarks were made during a meeting with military chiefs.
By Mike Firn for RFA
2024.02.09
Bangkok, Thailand
N Korean leader shuns talks with South, threatens ‘annihilation’ North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter Kim Ju Ae visit the Ministry of National Defense on the occasion of the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army in Pyongyang, North Korea in this picture released on Feb. 9, 2024 by the Korean Central News Agency.
KCNA via Reuters

The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said this week that cutting ties with Seoul allows North Korea to “strike and destroy the South,” according to Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency.

Kim made the comments during a visit to North Korea’s Defense Ministry Thursday, accompanied by his daughter, and possible future leader, Ju Ae.

Kim said his decision to cut economic and diplomatic ties with South Korea allowed North Korea to “shake off the unrealistic pretense of dialogue and cooperation with the Korean puppets who sought the collapse of our republic,” KCNA reported.

As well as closing government departments that liaised with Seoul, Kim ordered a unification monument torn down and scrapped laws on cross-border economic projects.

An official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Thursday the moves were expected and would result in the further isolation of the North.

He told reporters, “there are no imminent measures planned by [the South Korean] government,” South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported. 

Last month Seoul’s defense minister said if North Korea went to war with the South it would be the end of Kim’s regime.

President Yoon Suk Yeol said last week that Kim was likely to carry out multiple provocations ahead of South Korea’s April elections.

Edited by Taejun Kang and Elaine Chan.

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