Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, issued a public warning to the United States and South Korea in response to their joint military drills earlier this week.
In her warning released by the Korean Central News Agency on March 6, Kim Yo Jong asserted that the Pacific Ocean is not under the jurisdiction of the United States or Japan. She also reaffirmed North Korea’s right to conduct weapons testing in the area, specifically mentioning the country’s upcoming plans to test intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Kim Yo Jong also cautioned that any military action taken against North Korea’s strategic weapons tests, including interception, would be considered a declaration of war.
“We keep our eye on the restless military moves by the U.S. forces and the [South] Korean puppet military and are always on standby to take appropriate, quick and overwhelming action at any time according to our judgment,” she said.
The warning came a day after a nuclear-capable B-52 bomber was flown over the Korean Peninsula as part of a U.S.-South Korean military exercise, per Business Insider.
This is just one of several demonstrations of the U.S. military that could be seen in recent weeks.
As The Dallas Express reported last month, the U.S. Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile test in California to demonstrate the country’s nuclear readiness.
In the coming weeks, the U.S. and South Korean military forces will be conducting a large-scale field exercise known as Freedom Shield, which involves simulations to test the latter’s defense posture and combat readiness.
North Korea has done its fair share of military displays through an unprecedented number of missile tests since last year.
In February, as The Dallas Express reported, North Korea also paraded a total of 12 individual Hwasong-17 ICBM launchers — which are believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland — down the capital of Pyongyang’s streets, flanked by marching soldiers.
The last time Kim Yo Jong issued a warning to the U.S., it coincided with North Korea launching two missiles just outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, as The Dallas Express reported.
This makes two public statements by Kim Yo Jong this year, perhaps hinting at her growing influence within her brother’s regime.
The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that Kim Yo Jong is her brother’s unofficial second-in-command and a potential heir.
Kim Yo Jong first captured attention in the West when she became the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018.