North Korean leader's sister to Biden: Don't cause a stink

Kim Yo Jong, sister of Kim Jong Un, criticizes ongoing military drills in South Korea, warns new US administration against “causing a stink” if it wants peace.

Elad Benari ,

Kim Yo Jong
Kim Yo Jong

Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Monday criticized ongoing military drills in South Korea and warned the new US administration against “causing a stink” if it wants peace, Reuters reports.

The statement comes a day before America’s top diplomat and defense chief are due to arrive in Seoul for their first talks with South Korean counterparts.

“We take this opportunity to warn the new U.S. administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” Kim said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA. “If it wants to sleep in peace for coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”

South Korean and American troops began a joint springtime military drill, which was limited to computer simulations because of the coronavirus risk as well as the ongoing efforts to engage with the North.

“War drills and hostility can never go with dialogue and cooperation,” said Kim Yo Jong, who mocked South Korea for “resorting to shrunken war games, now that they find themselves in the quagmire of political, economic and epidemic crisis.”

Her warning follows reports on Saturday that North Korea has not responded to behind-the-scenes diplomatic outreach since mid-February by President Joe Biden’s new administration.

Former US President Donald Trump tried to reached an agreement with North Korea while in office. Kim and Trump met in Hanoi in 2019 for a summit that left nuclear talks at a standstill.

The pair had met three times since June 2018 but made little progress towards denuclearization.

Since those talks broke down, North Korea has conducted several tests of ballistic missiles.

Shortly before Biden took office, the North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party held its first congress in five years. During the congress, Kim was named the “general secretary” of the party.

In remarks he made at the start of the gathering, Kim threatened to expand his nuclear arsenal and stated that the fate of relations with the United States depends on whether it abandons its “hostile policy”.

Later, North Korea displayed what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) at a parade.