North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s sister has vowed to “eradicate” South Korea’s leadership, whom she blames for sending COVID-19 over the border.
According to the Korean Central News Agency on Thursday, North Korea’s state news agency, Kim Yo Jong blamed “South Korean puppets” for sending “dirty objects” across the border between the two countries in leaflets carried by balloons.
South Korean pro-democracy activists have for years sent anti-communist leaflets across the border in an effort to destabilize the communist regime.
The North Korean state news agency reported that Kim Yo Jong disclosed that her brother was stricken by “high fever” during the COVID-19 pandemic — a rare admission of vulnerability for a leader that is portrayed as a demigod by state propagandists.
Kim Yo Jong, who has become the figure of North Korea’s resistance against the democratic leadership in Seoul and its American allies, made her first threat against the South Korean government when President Yoon Suk Yeol was inaugurated in May.
“If the enemy continues to do such a dangerous thing that can introduce a virus into our republic, we will respond by eradicating not only the virus but also the South Korean authorities,” said the younger Kim in a speech at a meeting of ruling party officials reviewing policies to battle the epidemic, according to Bloomberg.
“It is quite natural for us to consider strange objects as vehicles of the malignant pandemic disease,” Kim Yo Jong added, noting that her elder brother led an “epoch-making miracle” in ending the pandemic.
North Korea’s escalating rhetoric against Seoul could set the stage for a resumption of military provocations that have slowed in recent months, possibility due to the outbreak. North Korea appears to be readying conduct its first nuclear test since 2017, government officials from Japan, South Korea and the U.S. said.
Any display of the weapons in Kim’s nuclear arsenal would serve as a reminder of the pressing security problems posed by Pyongyang that have simmered as U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has been focused on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.