Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called South Korea the most hostile country toward Pyongyang as his government abolished agencies dedicated to reunification, Bloomberg reported, citing North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

North Korea’s rubber-stamp legislature, known as the Supreme People’s Assembly, issued a declaration at a session to start the year to abolish key agencies charged with managing ties with its neighbor

In an address to the assembly, Kim said the security environment around his country had “turned into the most dangerous zone with risk of war outbreak in the world.” He added reunification with South Korea could never be achieved, as the South is his state’s “principal enemy,” KCNA said.

The move to abolish the agencies and the comments are likely designed to put pressure on South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who has taken a hard line against Pyongyang and angered Kim’s regime by stepping up military cooperation with the US and Japan.

Kim has upped the rhetoric in recent weeks. In late December, he said Pyongyang would not hesitate to respond with a nuclear attack when an enemy provokes it with nuclear weapons.

Days later, Kim told the country's military commanders that the most powerful means must be mobilized to destroy the United States and South Korea if they choose a military confrontation.

Earlier this week, North Korea flight-tested a new solid-fuel intermediate-range missile tipped with a hypersonic warhead.

In December, North Korea twice fired ballistic missiles into the sea off the coast of South Korea.