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Korean quarrels

North Korea’s Supreme Sister blasts South Korean criticism

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, called South Korea's foreign minister 'impudent' for her comments on the coronavirus
Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, called South Korea's foreign minister 'impudent' for her comments on the coronavirus JORGE SILVA POOL/AFP/File

The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un lambasted South Korea's foreign minister for questioning the North’s claim to be coronavirus free and warned of “consequences".

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It all started with South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha’s remark over the weekend to the effect that North Korea’s claims that there has been no virus outbreak on its soil is “hard to believe.”

Kang was answering questions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Manama Dialogue in Bahrain on 5 December, where she added that “North Korea has not been very responsive to our offer of help on the Covid - 19 front;".

She attributed Pyongyang’s reluctance to a “closed, very top–down decision–making process where there is very little debate on their measures in dealing with Covid -19”.

She also observed that the regime in North Korea is “intensely focused on controlling the disease that they say they do not have.”

The remark sparked the fury of Kim Yo-jong, who is North Korea’s “first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea,” but who is better known as the sister of the country’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, North Korea consistently claims there has been no cases of Covid-19 in the country, while sporadic official reports indicated that there was an "emergency."

"Reckless remarks"

In a terse report by the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) Korean official media, Kim said she “heard a detailed report” highlighting the South Korean minister’s “reckless remarks,” that were made “without any consideration of the consequences.

She also pointed out that she too eager to chill the frozen relations between the north and the south of Korea.”

A screengrab from the English website of Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA). The agency is the official propaganda outlet for Korea's Communist Party.
A screengrab from the English website of Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA). The agency is the official propaganda outlet for Korea's Communist Party. © Screengrab KCNA

Kang did elaborate on the stalled peace process, adding that the US and north-south “engagement has stalled  after the Hanoi summit between President Trump and Kim Jong - un.

They could not come to an agreement on the nuclear deal and the talks have been stalled since then,” adding that over the past three years, “some progress” has been made.

But according to the Supreme Sister, Kang’s “real intention is very clear" and added "We will never forget her words and she might have to pay dearly for it.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un met with US President Donald Trump on three occasions without tangible results. Kang expressed hope that under the new Biden administration, Seoul would “try to revive the engagement with North Korea on the nuclear issue, as well as on the South – North track and the larger regional interlocutors to build lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

 

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