SEOUL, South Korea — The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un warned the United States on Tuesday that it will face «a most fatal security crisis» as Washington presses for the UN to condemn the North’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile test.
Kim Yo Jong’s warning came hours after US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told an emergency UN Security Council meeting that the US will circulate a proposed presidential statement condemning the banned missile launches. by North Korea and other destabilizing activities. After the meeting, Thomas-Greenfield also read a statement from 14 countries that supported action to limit the advance of North Korea’s weapons programs.
Kim Yo Jong, who is widely considered the second most powerful person in North Korea after his brother, criticized the United States for issuing what he called «a disgusting joint statement along with mobs like Britain, France, Australia, Japan and Korea.» from the south».
Kim compared the United States to «a terrified barking dog.» He said North Korea would regard the US-led statement as «a wanton violation of our sovereignty and a serious political provocation.»
«The United States must keep in mind that no matter how desperately it seeks to disarm (North Korea), it can never deprive (North Korea) of its right to self-defense and that the more it becomes committed to anti-(North Korea) North) acts, it will face a more fatal security crisis,” he said in a statement carried by state media.
Monday’s UN Security Council meeting was convened in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch on Friday, which was part of a provocative series of missile tests this year that experts say is designed to modernize its nuclear arsenal and increase its influence in future diplomacy. Friday’s test involved its most powerful Hwasong-17 missile, and some experts say the successful steep-angle launch demonstrated its potential to strike anywhere in the continental United States if fired on a standard trajectory.
During the Security Council meeting, the United States and its allies strongly criticized the intercontinental ballistic missile launch and called for measures to limit North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. But Russia and China, both veto-wielding members of the Security Council, opposed any further pressure and sanctions on North Korea. In May, the two countries vetoed a US-led attempt to tighten sanctions against North Korea over its past ballistic missile tests, which are prohibited by UN Security Council resolutions.
North Korea has said its testing activities are legitimate exercises of its right to self-defense in response to regular US-South Korean military exercises that it views as an invasion drill. Washington and Seoul officials say the exercises are defensive in nature.
Kim Yo Jong said the fact that North Korea’s ICBM launch was being discussed in the Security Council is «clearly applying double standards» by the UN body because it «turned a blind eye». to the US and South Korean military exercises. She said North Korea will not tolerate any attempt to undermine its right to self-defense and will take «the toughest measures to the end» to protect its national security.
On Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui called UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres «a puppet of the United States.»
There are concerns that North Korea may soon conduct its first nuclear test in five years.
The status of North Korea’s nuclear capability remains shrouded in secrecy. Some analysts say North Korea already has nuclear-armed missiles that can strike both the mainland United States and its allies South Korea and Japan, but others say the North is years away from possessing such missiles.