North Korea blasted Seoul’s push to put new sanctions on Pyongyang following its missile launches on Thursday, branding South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol and his administration as “idiots” parroting the US, according to state media KCNA.
Kim Yo Jong, North Korea’s influential sister, made the remarks in a statement released by KCNA, warning that sanctions and pressure will exacerbate the North’s “hostility and wrath.”
South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it was reviewing independent sanctions on Pyongyang. It said sanctions on the cyber sector were among those considered in case the North pushes ahead with a nuclear test.
North Korea has conducted an unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches this year. For months Washington has said North Korea could conduct a nuclear bomb test, the first since 2017, at any time.
“If they think that they can escape from the present dangerous situation through ‘sanctions,’ they must be really idiots as they do not know how to live in peace and comfort,” Kim Yo Jong said in the statement, calling Yoon and his government a “running wild dog” with a bone given by the United States.
South Korea’s unification ministry, handling inter-Korean affairs, issued a statement over the “deplorable” comments targeting the South Korean leader.
“We express a strong regret over (the North’s) attitude attempting to shift the blame on us … when the current tension on the Korean Peninsula was caused by North Korea’s repeated missile provocations,” the ministry said in the statement.
The United States has urged the United Nations Security Council to hold North Korea accountable for its missile tests in one voice, as the 15-member body has been split on how to deal with Pyongyang in recent years.
Although both China and Russia backed tighter sanctions after Pyongyang’s last nuclear test in 2017, in May they vetoed a U.S.-led push for more U.N. penalties over its renewed missile launches.